‘Improve sub-jails to reduce burden on central jails’
A report submitted by Central Jail Deputy Inspector General Bipin Bihari, to the Bombay High Court, after visiting Gondia sub-jail, said that conditions of sub-jails in the state need to be improved in order to reduce the burden on the overcrowded district and central prisons.mumbai Updated: Aug 28, 2010 01:13 IST
A report submitted by Central Jail Deputy Inspector General Bipin Bihari, to the Bombay High Court, after visiting Gondia sub-jail, said that conditions of sub-jails in the state need to be improved in order to reduce the burden on the overcrowded district and central prisons.
Bihari was asked to visit the sub-jail as a ‘model’ sub-jail and submit a report while hearing a suo moto public interest litigation by the high court which highlighted the pathetic conditions of these sub-jails.
The high court, in July, had taken cognisance of a letter written by the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative—an NGO working on rights of prisoners—and turned it into a Public Interest Litigation (PIL).
The letter, sent by Maja Daruwala, director of the NGO, highlighted the “inhuman” state of sub-jails, constructed by the British government at the taluka level, in order to avoid over crowding in the central and district prisons.
The letter had also pointed out that these jails don't have basic facilities like proper toilets and canteen for prisoners. Also there is shortage of staff, especially women guard. Female prisoners are also guarded by male prisoners, stated the letter.
The court was told that Revenue department staff is not trained to look after the administration of sub-jails and this extra duty makes them overburdened.
Maharukh Adenwala, the lawyer for the NGO, pointed out to the court that the Centre has provided Rs 96.87 crore for modernisation of jails across the state.
However, these funds have not been utilised because they come under the revenue department and not the prison department, which comes the Home department.
Bihari’s report said: “There is definitely scope for improvement in physical and living conditions.”