29 Jan 2023 5:53 AM GMT
Three Supreme Court Judges Visit Sanganer Open Prison In Jaipur, Emphasise Need To Have More Such Prisons Across The Country Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Aniruddha Bose and S.Ravindra Bhat of the Supreme Court visited the Sanganer Open Prison in Jaipur on Saturday, and interacted with the inmates and their families, by spending about three hours with them. They also visited...
Three Supreme Court Judges Visit Sanganer Open Prison In Jaipur, Emphasise Need To Have More Such Prisons Across The Country
Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Aniruddha Bose and S.Ravindra Bhat of the Supreme Court visited the Sanganer Open Prison in Jaipur on Saturday, and interacted with the inmates and their families, by spending about three hours with them. They also visited the exhibition of paintings drawn by the inmates. They were joined by the Rajasthan High Court Chief Justice, Pankaj Mithal, and Justices Manindra Mohan Srivastava, (also Executive Chairman, Rajasthan State Legal Services Authority), and Sandeep Mehta.
Later, while addressing the inmates and their families, Justice Kaul described the visit as an eye opener, and suggested creation of similar open prisons across the country with improved amenities, and funding. Justice Kaul, emphasising the reformative potential of the open prisons, promised to do whatever possible to popularise it.
Justice Aniruddha Bose said he never felt he was visiting a prison locality, as Sanganer is bereft of all the symbols of closed prisons, such as huge gates with iron rods, and big locks. Observing that ‘open camps’ may be a better description of the place rather than ‘open prisons’, he said that the idea behind it is that those who are found guilty of committing an offence should not be subjected to inhuman treatment. He said he could not distinguish between an inmate and a non-inmate in the complex.
Justice Ravindra Bhat observed that the focus here is on the individual, rather than on the crime, even as he appreciated the functioning of a school within the complex which has a mix of children from within and outside.
Former Judge of the Supreme Court, Justice Madan B.Lokur, who was also present during the interaction of the sitting Judges with the inmates of the Sanganer open camp, hoped that their experience will prove to be good for the inmates.
Tracing the idea of open prisons in the state, Chief Justice of the Rajasthan High Court, Pankaj Mithal said under the Rajasthan Prison Rules 1951, those who completed one-third of their sentences are eligible for transfer to the open prisons. He proposed uniform rules across the country with regard to eligibility of prisoners for transfer from closed to open prisons. It is learnt that under the state’s prison rules, a convict must have completed a minimum of six years and eight months’ sentence to be eligible for transfer to an open prison.
He suggested that senior citizens among prisoners could be sent to open prisons, in order to avoid crowding in closed prisons, and minimise expenses.
The founder of NGO, Prison Aid + Action Research (Paar), and the state’s honorary Prison Commissioner, Smita Chakraburtty, welcomed the visiting dignitaries, and proposed a vote of thanks.
Later, the judges listened to a special performance of well-known artist, Susmit Bose, who used music to highlight concern over violation of human rights of prisoners.