Taking note of the miserable condition of the overcrowded and ill-managed Ferozepur district jail, the Punjab and Haryana high court has directed the Punjab government to immediately take remedial action and file status report along with the photographs by July 8.
The division bench comprising chief justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and justice Arun Palli passed orders on a report submitted by justice Mahesh Grover after his inspection of the jail premises.
In his inspection report, justice Grover mentioned, “I was appalled to see the existing conditions. The jail is more than one and a half century old and its building and the infrastructure leaves much to be desired.”
The report reads that the jail superintendent lacks imagination and betrays no sense of commitment to the uplift of the jail and is immune to the misery around him. “Dr AB Singh who is attached to the jail is an apathetic person, unconcerned with the plight of the inmates…the doctor needs to be proceeded against and an appropriate direction issued to the competent authority in this regard.”
Looking at the practical difficulties, justice Grover has opined setting up of sub-jail at Abohar or Fazilka since there is only one jail in Ferozepur district. The judge found that in the jail there are “miserable conditions where the inmates lodged in over-crowded barracks like a tin of sardines have no access to air and sunlight.”
The inspection report also mentioned that most of the undertrials are languishing in the jails for long period awaiting the result of chemical analyst’s report in drugs cases.
“The high incidence of false implication can’t be under-estimated and if a person is to remain in jail awaiting the report of the chemical analyst then it would be unfair if the report indicates the prosecution case to be a non-starter.”