From now, prisoners lodged in state prisons will be able to lodge their protests and complaints against the jail administration through a drop box that will be placed in the jail premises. This service will be accessible to convicts as well as prisoners involved in sub-judice cases.
These are some of the new rules formed by the State government after a government resolution on September 6 came in the wake of a rise in the number of cases filed against prison officials. In June 2012, a criminal case was filed by prisoners in the high court against the government. Consequently, rules were framed to ensure better living conditions for the prisoners. The court also expressed the need for an internal grievance mechanism.
The new rules offer the complainants anonymity wherein prisoners aren’t required to even disclose their code numbers. A three-member committee, consisting of the superintendent of prisons, deputy inspector general of police (prisons) and district judge, will be formed in every prison. They will hold the box keys and their names will be pasted on the box. All the three will take turns in the month and attend to the complaints in the box that would be disposed within a month and will give a hearing if necessary.
The state has asked members of the committee to inspect the hospital, canteen and kitchen divisions. They will be required to send regular reports on cleanliness and hygiene, expiry dates of medicines in the hospital, quality of food and articles and utensils used in the kitchen and canteen.