'Inhuman' And 'Barbaric' Frisking Of Under Trial Prisoners: Tripura HC Seeks Govt.'s Response [Read Order]
"Can this Court sit silently and allow the “barbaric act” to be perpetuated upon by the police officials for eternity?"
The Tripura High Court has directed the State Government to respond to the report filed by District Judge about 'inhuman' and 'barbaric' frisking of under trial prisoners in Khowai Sub-Jail.
The bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice Arindam Lodh, directed the state that, under all circumstances, inmates of all the jails within the State of Tripura shall be searched only in accordance with the provision of the Jail Manual, if any, and under all circumstances keeping in light the human dignity, maintaining absolute privacy
Some under trials had made complaints before the District and Sessions Judge about misbehaviour by two warders and one Havilder of the sub-jail. It was alleged that whenever the Under trial Prisoners return to Jail in the night from Court the warders and the Havilder compel them to remove their garments one by one in the name of checking in security purpose. When they objected to this practice, the cops forced the Under Trial Prisoners to remove even the last piece of clothes from their body in presence of the other Under Trial Prisoners and convicts of the Sub-Jail.
Situation within Jail is very alarming, if the situation is not brought under control, very shortly anything may happen, the District and Sessions Judge had said in his letter to the High court. The judge said that he has verified the authenticity of the complaint and added that what happens in sub-jail is 'very much shocking and disgusting and it is nothing a Barbarism'.
The bench suo motu registered the writ petition to consider the following issues:
- What is the meaning of 'life' under Article 21 of the Constitution of India?
- Does a jail inmate have a right to live with dignity or not?
- Does an inmate have a right of privacy?
- Does he have right of being frisked/searched in a dignified manner?
- Can this Court sit silently and allow the "barbaric act" to be perpetuated upon by the police officials for eternity?
- Is frisking in the manner in which it is being conducted by the police, permissible under the jail manual?
- Is there no such law regulating jail inmates within the State of Tripura?
- Does the "cruel and unusual behaviour" of the Warders and one Havilder, if it is true, amount to violation of the fundamental human rights and civil liberties of the prisoners in view of Geneva Conventions on Human Rights, being India is one of the participating nations and agreed upon the resolutions adopted in the said convention?
The state was also directed to take action against erring officials and to file affidavit. The case will be taken up for further consideration on 27th March.