The Supreme Court on August 8, 2018 said that it would constitute a committee under the chairmanship of its retired judge to look into the problems in jails.
The bench comprising Justices M B Lokur, S Abdul Nazeer and Deepak Gupta expressed its displeasure saying that the government had collected a huge amount under the orders of the apex court but the funds were not being utilised properly.
Attorney General K K Venugopal also agreed with the court on setting up a committee for jail reforms. He, however, told the bench that India was facing enormous problems in several other areas as well.
• The apex court stated that besides a retired SC judge as its Chairperson, the committee for prison reforms will comprise two or three officials from the Union Government.
• The committee’s duties will include looking into the problems of jails across the country including overcrowding and women prisoners languishing in cells for years.
• After studying the problems, the committee would be required to suggest measures to deal with them.
• The matter has been listed for further hearing on August 17.
• The apex court had on August 5 expressed its displeasure that several states had not yet appointed the board of visitors who regularly inspect prisons to ensure that they are being run in accordance with the rules.
• The current observance comes, as the court is hearing a matter relating to inhuman conditions prevailing in 1,382 prisons across the country.
• The court had earlier taken strong exception to overcrowded jails across the country and said prisoners also have human rights and cannot be kept in jail like ‘animals’.
• The apex court had also earlier passed a slew of directions over unnatural deaths in jails and on prison reforms across India.
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Who: Supreme Court
What: To constitute panel