Poor Jail Facilities: Centre Can Only Issue Advisories, But States Must Implement Those Directives Timely, Says AG To SC

Poor Jail Facilities: Centre Can Only Issue Advisories, But States Must Implement Those Directives Timely, Says AG To SC

Stating that prisons are a state subject, Attorney General KK Venugopal on Monday fastened responsibility in respect of the condition of jail facilities on the states: “Similar matters have been going for the last three years...order after order has been issued to the Union of India...However, it is beyond the jurisdiction of the Centre to issue directives in this behalf...the states have to be involved in the improvement of facilities...we can only issue advisories...more than 50 advisories have been issued but none have been implemented...implementation in a time-bound manner by the states has to be ensured, otherwise nothing can be done...”

That the Chief Secretaries of the states be accordingly required to be present before the court and officers incharge of state governments be asked to submit affidavits in the same behalf was considered.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud had on July 13 directed immediate measures to improve the condition in the Faridabad Jail and Observation Home.

Invited by the Haryana Legal Services Authority to a function earlier this year, Justices UU Lalit and Adarsh Kumar Goel had on their own also visited the jail and Observation Home and found that the situation was pathetic.

They had then directed the District Judge Faridabad to conduct a survey and prepare a report along with recommendations to improve the condition.

On the receipt of the recommendations, the bench headed by Chief Justice had sought the assistance of the Attorney General to implement them. Advocate Gaurav Agrawal and RP Luthra have been asked to assist the AG in this regard.

On Monday, Agarwal submitted his report, upon an inspection of the conditions of the Faridabad Jail and Observation Home: “After Your Lordships order, the situation is improving...but several issues remain to be addressed...as many as hundred juveniles have been accommodated in a capacity meant for 30...”

The AG indicated the areas of security, sanitation, provision of other basic amenities, installation of CCTV cameras and facility of video-conferencing areas calling for attention.

Read the Report Here