The Supreme Court on July 14, 2018 took note of lack of facilities in jails of the country and sought assistance of the Attorney General in issuing directions to deal with the situation.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra and comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, on its own, initiated the judicial proceedings after taking note of report on deficiencies at the Faridabad jail in Haryana and expanded the scope of the case to the entire country.
• The bench noted that the poor facilities in jails have been leading to delayed trials and prolonged confinement of under-trial prisoners.
• The bench also pointed that there were several infrastructural and operational deficiencies like lack of video conferencing and transportation facilities in prison.
• The bench asked Attorney General K K Venugopal to assist the court in the matter as making all the states and union territories (UTs) parties to the case would cause delay in passing directions.
• The court, further, appointed advocate Gaurav Aggarwal as an amicus curiae (friend of the court) and asked him to help the Attorney General deal with the case.
• It also considered the orders passed by the Bombay and the Rajsathan High Courts on the lack of facilities in prisons in Maharashtra and Rajashtan before taking cognizance of the matter on its own.
Report on deficiencies at Faridabad jail
A report has been submitted by the District and Sessions judge of Faridabad and the judge has mentioned various causes for delayed trials and long incarceration of under trial prisoners in jail.
After taking a thorough note of the report, the apex court ruled that such a situation cannot be confined only to the jail at Faridabad; it is prevalent in all the jails of the country. The lack of facilities has been posing impediments in speedy trial.
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