Prisoners who wish to pursue education in jail, will now have to fund it themselves. The government informed the Bombay high court that there is no policy to reimburse or fund prisoners' education.
According to an affidavit filed by Sharad Gosavi, education officer and Jayant Naik, superintendent of Kolhapur central prison, there is no rule, provision, notification or statute that entitles prisoners to seek refund of the money spent by them in pursuing education during the course of their sentence.
A petition had been filed by Jivan Waghmare, 29, who along with a few relatives, was sentenced to life imprisonment in by a trial court in Miraj in 2006. Waghmare completed his degree in jail through the Yashwantrao Chavan Open University and is currently preparing for further studies.
Waghmare claims that jail authorities should fund the education of prisoners. However, his letter to the court states that he had to pay for it himself. He said that the whole purpose of the exercise is to educate convicts so that they can earn a livelihood once they are released from the prison.
Amicus curie, Nitin Pradhan, counsel for Waghmare, had earlier pointed out that grants have been sanctioned as per the United Nations guidelines that have been adopted by Maharashtra State Gazette. Pradhan however conceded that he could not place his hands on any other Government Notification or Statute that provides for payment of educational fees to inmates.
Additional public prosecutor Jayesh Yagnik had previously stated that though there was no policy to fund the education of prisoners, he sought time to take instructions on the issue. In view of the affidavit filed by the state, a division bench of justice V M Kanade and justice P D Kode has disposed off the petition.