A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) concerning the overcrowding of prisoners in the Tihar Prison Complex has been withdrawn from the Delhi High Court
New Delhi: A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) concerning the overcrowding of prisoners in the Tihar Prison Complex has been withdrawn from the Delhi High Court on Monday.
The Plea stated that the number of inmates in Tihar Jail has exceeded the actual capacity of each Barrack and it is on record that there is a huge rise in the total number of inmates in the said Complex. The bench of Justice Satish Chander Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad allowed the petitioner to withdraw the petition and file a new one with better facts and research.
“Do your homework and then file a fresh petition,” said the Bench.
The petition was moved by an NGO Nyaya Foundation which stated that the unnecessary overcrowding of such jails amounts to the denial of the inmates’ Fundamental Rights as guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India, wherein a peaceful and dignified lifestyle of an individual is covered. Due to the overcrowding of this Prison Complex, the inmates’ lives are largely affected because of mental and physical tortures caused to them, stated the plea.
The plea also stated- if the persons who are in the Tihar prison complex, in any case, which is punishable for lesser than 3 years and the ones who are first-time offenders, their probation report must be considered to release them on bail.
It further said, “unnecessary arrests congest the Jail Complex. In such cases, if an innocent person is arrested, he, on confronting the situation inside the Jail, cause himself to committing crimes, which would not have happened but for the illegal/unreasonable arrest.”
Despite the law laid down by the Top Court, the casual arrests have not stopped and the accused persons are being taken into custody and put behind the bars is a sheer violation of the law. The congestion caused as a result of the same acts as a catalyst to the mental agonies of the inmates, reducing their lives to nothing is a mockery of Human Rights Laws, it said.
The prison complexes in Rohini and Mandoli which were established in 2004 and 2016, respectively also face the same issue despite the fact that they were supposed to ease Tihar’s burden, the plea added.
However, responding to a filed Right to Information (RTI), the office of the Director General of Prisons said: “Tihar which is one of the largest prison complexes in the world and comprising nine central prisons, has a capacity to house 5,200 inmates, but 13,183 prisoners are currently lodged in its different central jails. The prison complexes that were supposed to reduce Tihar’s burden are over-crowded too. Mandoli, which has six central jails, has a capacity of 1,050 but 2,037 inmates are currently staying there. Rohini, which has only one central jail, has a capacity of 3,776 but 4,355 inmates are currently lodged there in different cases, plea mentioned.”
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