SC order on pertinent issues in prisons: Under Trial Review Committees, Women Prisoners and Board of Visitors

Supreme Court: The Bench comprising of Madan B. Lokur and Deepak Gupta JJ., addressed a petition concerning the overcrowding in prisons.

It has been observed that the ‘Under Trial Review Committees’ have been set up in every district of the country or are directed to be set up and the Supreme Court directs the High Courts to consider the functioning of these committees. NALSA had prepared a draft in regard to the functioning of the stated committees for which the Supreme Court has asked for a re-draft in order that the same document may be used by the Committees itself along with the High Courts.

Further, the issue which was significantly noted was regarding the ‘women prisoners. Regarding the stated issue, with the help of amicus curiae it was observed that women prisoners with children below six years of age are not allowed to leave the prisons. The other categories are of children who have crossed the age of 6 years and children who are minors and above six years of age whose mother is in custody, in both the categories children cannot be left on their own when their mother is in prison. Hence, amicus curiae has been suggested by the Supreme Court to appoint a committee in this regard.

Appointment of ‘Board of Visitors’ has also not been notified in various jails including Tihar jail. Supreme Court on this issue stated that they do not see the reasoning on why the prison departments are being ignorant by not following the Model Prison Manual prepared by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.

The matter is further listed for 08-08-2018. [Inhuman Conditions in 1382 Prisons, In Re 2018 SCC OnLine SC 821, order dated 02-08-2018]

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