Jail inmates/ prisoners, India: trends and legal issues

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=Religion, caste and the prison population=
 
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==2018==
 
[[File: Religion, caste and the prison population, As in 2018..jpg|Religion, caste and the prison population, As in 2018. <br/> From: [https://epaper.timesgroup.com/Olive/ODN/TimesOfIndia/shared/ShowArticle.aspx?doc=TOIDEL%2F2020%2F01%2F15&entity=Ar00202&sk=F2F5AE50&mode=image  January 15, 2020: ''The Times of India'']|frame|500px]]
 
[[File: Religion, caste and the prison population, As in 2018..jpg|Religion, caste and the prison population, As in 2018. <br/> From: [https://epaper.timesgroup.com/Olive/ODN/TimesOfIndia/shared/ShowArticle.aspx?doc=TOIDEL%2F2020%2F01%2F15&entity=Ar00202&sk=F2F5AE50&mode=image  January 15, 2020: ''The Times of India'']|frame|500px]]
  
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=See also=
 
=See also=
[[Bail: India]]
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[[Bail and the law: India]]
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[[Capital punishment: India]]
  
 
[[Jailbreak: India]]
 
[[Jailbreak: India]]
  
[[Jail inmates/ prisoners and the law: India]]
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[[Jail inmates/ prisoners, India: trends and legal issues]]
  
 
[[Jails/ Prisons: India]]
 
[[Jails/ Prisons: India]]

Latest revision as of 08:32, 16 January 2020

This is a collection of articles archived for the excellence of their content.

Contents

[edit] Handcuffs

[edit] Detainees need not always be handcuffed

December 8, 2019: The Times of India


Though Supreme Court has time and again disapproved of handcuffing of undertrial prisoners and convicts, terming it an inhuman practice, it has provided for exceptions that could have been relevant in the case of four men who were gunned down by the police in Hyderabad.

The apex court in 1995 in ‘Citizens For Democracy Vs State Of Assam’ passed a slew of directions on procedures to be followed while handcuffing a prisoner. Holding minimal freedom of movement, which even a detainee is entitled to under Article 19, cannot be cut down by application of handcuffs or other hoops, the court issued directions for police and jail authorities on handcuffing an accused. The court held that police and jail authorities, on their own, shall have no authority to direct hand-cuffing of any inmate of a jail or during transit from one jail to another or from jail to court and back. This direction, however, may not have adequately considered the violence that sometimes breaks out in police vans among undertrials or convicts.

In a direction relevant to the Hyderabad case, the court said where police or jail authorities have a wellgrounded basis for drawing a strong inference that a prisoner is likely to jump bail or break out of custody, the prisoner be produced before a magistrate and a prayer for handcuffing be made. In Hyderabad case, since all four suspects were being taken to the crime spot, such permission might have been sought.

In other circumstances, as where a person arrested by the police, is produced before the magistrate and remand — judicial or non-judicial — is given, there shall be no handcuffing unless special orders are obtained from the magistrate. Similarly, a person arrested in the execution of an arrest warrant must not be handcuffed unless prior permission has been taken from the magistrate.

The Supreme Court has held handcuffs must be the last refuge, not the routine regimen.

[edit] Legal aid

[edit] Delhi’s clinic

Aamir Khan, Court clinics to offer free legal aid to visiting inmates, September 25, 2017: The Times of India

Jail inmates brought to district court complexes in the city, August 2017;
From Aamir Khan, Court clinics to offer free legal aid to visiting inmates, September 25, 2017: The Times of India


In a first, over 4,000 jail inmates visiting lockups at various Delhi court complexes every month, will be able to avail of free legal aid through `clinics' set up by Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA).The first of these clinics will be inaugurated in Dwarka.

The aim of the clinics is to provide legal help to the accused or convicts who otherwise are unable to discuss their cases with lawyers due to paucity of time or other constraints, besides enabling free legal aid to those who cannot afford it. Even those who already have free legal aid lawyers can find space for interaction.

DSLSA member secretary Sanjiv Jain said, due to several constraints, legal aid lawyers are unable to visit the jails and interact with their clients before the evidence is recorded or argu ments begin in the trial.“Many inmates do not get a legal representation as a result. The clinics will make things convenient for both lawyers and inmates,“ he said.

When an inmate is produced in court, they are first taken to the lockup in the re spective court complex. Delhi has six court complexes with lockups.

Additional secretary Naveen Gupta recognised these lockups as the best place for the clinics to come up. “The inmates can be made aware of other rights that not only an accused can exercise during investigation or trial but also a prisoner in custody,“ he said.

DSLSA has decided to depute one legal aid counsel from 10am to 5pm every day at these clinics. The lawyer will be available even on weekends and public holidays. They will be paid an honorarium equivalent to a front office advocate on the DSLSA's panel.

[edit] Religion, caste and the prison population

[edit] 2018

Religion, caste and the prison population, As in 2018.
From: January 15, 2020: The Times of India


See graphic:

Religion, caste and the prison population, As in 2018.

[edit] Sentence review/ Sentence Review Boards

[edit] HC: Convicts freed at ‘whims’ of review board

HC: Convicts being freed at ‘whims’ of review board, December 14, 2018: The Times of India


Delhi high court expressed concern at the manner in which convicts were being granted premature release on the “whims and fancies” of the Sentence Review Board (SRB).

A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V K Rao said there has to be “transparency” in the process while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking fairness and impartiality in the functioning of SRB while dealing with the issue of premature release of convicts.

“A convict should know why he or she is not being released while another was being released,” the bench said while issuing notice to Delhi government and seeking its stand on the plea by advocate Amit Sahni.

HC also referred to the “apprehension or likelihood” of bias against certain prisoners based on caste or religion, as alleged in the plea while seeking the government’s stand.

The PIL seeks a transparent process, the court said, and asked the Delhi government if it did not agree with the points made in the plea, it should give alternatives “to ensure transparency”.

Senior advocates Sanjay Jain and Hariharan, appearing for Sahni, questioned how the SRB was dealing with the issue of premature release. They also suggested that names of convicts, who are seeking premature release, be masked with numbers so that their caste or religion is not known to the SRB and to avoid “extraneous consideration.”

“Right to legal representation must be also given to the convict, whose cases are placed before the SRB for the purpose of consideration for premature release. Meetings of SRB must be videographed to ensure transparency in its working and functioning,” the PIL said, adding that the entire material placed before SRB — police reports, reports from jail, nominal rolls, report from social welfare department and other documents — must be forwarded to the LG for an independent decision if recommendations of the board are based on the material considered by it or not.

The petition also mentioned an instance where one inmate, Sikander Singh, died in jail awaiting the decision of SRB. It said the convict had already undergone more than 28 years of incarceration and his detention beyond 25 years was illegal and uncalled for.

[edit] Sex with partners

[edit] 2015: PH HC allows

Ajay Sura, Jan 07 2015: The Times of India


HC allows jail inmates to have sex with their partners

In a historic verdict, the Punjab and Haryana high court has allowed jail inmates to have sex with their partners in prison as long as they are married and want to have a child. The court, in an order made public on Tuesday, held that conjugal visits or artificial insemination for progeny was a fundamental right of jail inmates.

Justice Surya Kant passed these orders while disposing of a petition filed by a couple, Jasvir Singh and Sonia, who are lodged in the Central Jail, Patiala, and who demanded conjugal rights for progeny. They were awarded death penalty by a trial court for kidnapping and killing a 16-year-old boy for a hefty ransom.

While the court denied the couple’s plea due to the heinous nature of the crime, it enlarged the petition’s scope in larger public interest. The judge held that right to life and personal liberty under Article 21 of the Constitution includes the right of convicts and jail inmates to have conjugal visits or artificial insemination as an alternative.

“A society which is currently involved in academic and intellectual debates on ‘gay-rights’ or the recognition of ‘thirdgender’ cannot shy away nor can it keep concealed under the carpet the pragmatic concept of conjugal visits of the jail inmates,” the court observed. “To say it differently, time has come and before it is too late, the stake-holders must sit together and deliberate upon this crucial subject and take a holistic view.” The court, however, held these rights were to be regulated by law and were the sole prerogative of the state. For this, the court ordered the constitution of a jail reforms committee to be headed by a retired high court judge. The committee would formulate a scheme for creation of an environment for conjugal and family visits in jail. forms committee to be headed by a retired high court judge. The committee would formulate a scheme for creation of an environment for conjugal and family visits in jail.

[edit] Wages

[edit] Deducting wages as per law permissible: HC

November 22, 2019: The Times of India


Observing that there is nothing wrong in deducting wages of prisoners for the victim welfare fund provided it is permitted under the statute, Delhi high court said it can’t, however, be done through executive action.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar said such deductions are permissible as long as done under the Delhi Prison Rules of 2018.

The court’s remarks came after Delhi government informed it that the practice was stopped in December last year, after the high court had directed that the same be put on hold. The government submitted that the Delhi Prison Rules of 2018, Rule 96(8) provided for such deductions.

The petitioner in the case, however, opposed the deduction saying various high courts in the country have done away with the practice and highlighted that of the Rs 15 crore collected in this manner since 2006, more than Rs 14 crore lay unutilised.

He said the amount lying unutilised can be used for welfare of children whose parents are incarcerated, as suggested by the Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA), as there is already a victim compensation fund set up by Delhi government for compensating victims of various crimes.

The bench said it will continue hearing arguments in the matter on November 26. In her plea, Katyayini, a lawyer, has sought quashing of an amendment made in the Delhi Prison Rules of 1988 — adding Rule 39A — which mandated the deduction. Subsequently, the 1988 rules were replaced by the 2018 rules, which also has a similar provision.

Meanwhile, DSLSA has also opposed the deduction for creating a victim compensation fund, saying it was “not reasonable or justified” as the AAP government has now created a scheme for victims.

The PIL has claimed that of the over Rs 15 crore collected since 2006 from wages of convicts lodged in Tihar Jail, approximately Rs 80.7 lakh has been disbursed to 194 eligible victims.

[edit] See also

Bail and the law: India

Capital punishment: India

Jailbreak: India

Jail inmates/ prisoners, India: trends and legal issues

Jails/ Prisons: India

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