The Maharashtra government on Tuesday told the Bombay high court that it had decided to constitute a committee to conduct a study on setting up a “model prison” in the state with necessary infrastructure.
Headed by a retired high court judge, the committee will also look into ways to reduce overcrowding in the existing jails across the state, the state said. The submissions were made in compliance with a previous order passed by a division bench of the court.
Earlier this month, a division bench comprising Justice AS Oka and Justice AA Sayed had emphasised on the need for the government to carry out a study on the condition of jails across the state and to assess requirements in infrastructure, and also the mental and physical health of all inmates.
On Tuesday, the state said that the proposed committee will conduct such a study.
“The committee would also have the inspector-general of prisons, director-general of police, a retired inspector-general of prisons and an expert from Tata Institute of Social Sciences,” the state said.
The court was hearing a bunch of public interest litigations on poor infrastructure, sanitation, and health facilities in Yerwada jail and also across all jails in the state.
In a previous hearing, the court had directed the principal district judge of Pune to appoint a judicial officer to conduct an inspection of Yerwada prison and submit a report.
According to the report, the jail was crowded up to the seams, had poor infrastructure facilities, inadequate number of toilets, and that the toilets were ill-maintained and dirty.