Overcrowding in prisons related to court performance will pass orders, says SC

NEW DELHI: Connected to, he said Wednesday and said he will pass instructions to address the problem that affects 1,341 prisons in the country that house 4,68 lakh inmates against the sanctioned force of 3,83 lakh.

A bank, headed by the President of the Supreme Court, S A Bobde, said it will also pass instructions to effectively deal with the problem of staff shortages in which they have an average of 30 to 40 percent of sanctioned force.

The problem was related to the performance of the courts and will have to be addressed, the bank said, noting the problem of overcrowding in prisons.

He asked the Center, represented by additional attorney general ANS Nadkarni, to take instructions and report on how they will address the immediate concerns of filling vacancies in prisons and overpopulating them, as highlighted by the prison reform committee headed by the former judge of the apex court Judge Amitava Roy.

We will approve orders after two weeks on the problems of overcrowding in prisons and filling vacancies, said the bank, which also includes Judges B R Gavai and Surya Kant, while the police officer looked for time to receive instructions.

ANS Nadkarni, additional attorney general, prays for time to obtain instructions on the preliminary report of the Penitentiary Reform Committee of the Supreme Court, especially on issues such as filling vacancies in prisons and overcrowding prisons. Prayer is allowed. Hold on after two weeks, the bank said in its order.

The higher court is listening to a matter related to inhuman conditions in 1,382 prisons across India after having learned of suo motu (alone) from a letter written in 2013.

The panel appointed by Judge Justice Roy in his report has given a report on the problems facing prisons across the country and suggested probable instructions that can be approved as corrective measures.

A total of 1,341 prisons are currently in operation in India on November 30, 2018 ... and the total population of prisoners in India as of November 30, 2018 is 4.68 lakh against the total sanctioned force of 3.83 lakh, the report said. .

From 2016 to 2018, the total prison population in India increased by 8.2 percent against a 0.7 percent increase in the sanctioned capacity of the prison, he said.

In 2017, the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) had placed information that said that the retention capacity of prisons in the country was around 3.78 lakh and the actual number of prisoners housed was 4.19 lakh.

Seven states, namely Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Uttarkhand, Sikkim, Meghalaya and Delhi have an occupancy rate of 150 percent, the report said.

He also referred to the shortage of prison staff and said that it represents between 30 and 40 percent of the total force and that it was necessary to remedy it since it hindered the implementation of the Model Manual of Prisons and various reforms of the prison.

The report suggested that the court should pass instructions asking the authorities to begin the recruitment process against permanent vacancies within three months and the process should be completed in one year.

To deal with overcrowding in prisons, the report also suggested several measures, including asking the courts to use their discretionary powers and granting sentences such as a fine and reprimand if possible instead of sending criminals to prisons. .

Courts can be encouraged to release offenders on probation in the pre-trial stage or after trial in cases that deserve it, he said.

The bank would take care of the matter after two weeks.

The superior court had previously expressed concerns saying that up to 67 percent of prisoners in overcrowded prisons in India were sub-treated and had sought urgent measures for the prompt conclusion of their cases.

He had ordered the criminal services review committees (UTRC) to meet every month during the first six months of 2019 to review the inmates' cases and send reports to the legal services authorities in the state.

Established in all districts, the UTRCs deliberate and recommend the release of prisoners under penalty of judgment as well as those convicted who have been sentenced or have the right to be released due to bail or remission granted to them, he had said.

He had said that the state legal services authorities would collect the data received from the UTRC and send the report to NALSA.

The main court had also registered the standard operating procedure (SOP) prepared by NALSA for the UTRC and said it would be distributed between the Director General (Prisons) and the state legal services authority of all states and territories of the Union.

Prior to this, the court had constituted a three-member committee, headed by Judge Roy to investigate prison reforms throughout India and make recommendations on various aspects, including overcrowding.

He had said that the Committee of the Supreme Court on Penitentiary Reforms would also be composed of the Police Inspector General of the Office of Police Research and Development and the Director General (Prisons) of the Tihar Jail in Delhi.

He had previously had a strong exception to the overcrowding of prisons across the country and said that prisoners also have human rights and cannot be kept as animals.

The court had given a great deal of instructions on unnatural deaths in prisons and on prison reforms throughout India.