Perusing a report filed by Secretary, District Legal Services Authority, Basti pertaining to the inspection of District Jail, Basti, the Allahabad High Court on Wednesday (11th November) directed the State Government to take appropriate and remedial action to improve the condition of the Basti district jail.
The Bench of Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Shashi Kant Gupta observed,
"On going through the report, it appears that in District Jail, Basti beside over-lodging of prisoners beyond its capacity several other deficiencies are existing."
A report from Vinay Kumar Jaiswal, Secretary, District Legal Services Authority, Basti pertaining to his inspection of District Jail, Basti was received by the Administrative Judge, District Judgeship, Basti.
The Administrative Judge forwarded the same to the Chief Justice for necessary action. The Chief Justice, in his administrative functioning, considered it appropriate to place the report before the Bench having roster to hear public interest litigation.
In the detailed report, the Secretary, District Legal Services Authority, Basti noticed lack of hygiene, cleanliness, medical facility, infrastructural issues and the issues relating to vocational training.
It was also stated that the parole applications submitted by the inmates too, take much time in their disposal. No library facility is available at the prison and no material is made available for executing literacy and education programs.
It was also submitted that one teacher is certainly posted there, but he is not usually attending the prison. Most of the CCTV cameras are also non-functional.
As per the averments contained in the report, the prisoners suffering from corona virus infection are kept in a separate building, but no coronavirus protocol is adhered to within the Jail premises
The Court, in its order, stated,
"Suffice to state that in globally accepted criminal jurisprudence, the doctrine of deterrent punishment is leaving space for reformative theory. In our country, we have accepted a mixed formula, i.e., of deterrent punishment and reformation of criminal in prisons which are nowadays known as reformatories."
The Court further opined,
"It is also well settled that the prisoners too are having human-rights and whatever requirements noticed in the report are nothing, but essential ingredients to ensure application of the rights aforesaid."
In view of it, the Court called upon the State to respond to the report and also to take all necessary steps to satisfy the deficiencies so pointed out. The Court ordered that the appropriate and remedial actions be taken forthwith.
The petition for writ has been directed to be listed on 25th November, 2020 as a fresh case.
Notably, the Delhi High Court on Monday (09th November) directed the Principal District & Sessions Judge (HQs.) to depute a Judicial Officer to visit a detention centre located in Delhi and inspect the same with respect to the conditions prevailing there.
Case title - In re : Reference to the condition of District Jail, Basti.