On Wednesday 11th November, pertaining to the inspection of the district jail Basti, the Allahabad High Court directed the State Government to take appropriate and remedial action to improve the condition of the Basti district jail. The report is filed by Secretary, District Legal Services Authority.
Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Shashi Kant Gupta observed that, “On going through the report, it appears that in District Jail, Basti besides over-lodging of prisoners beyond its capacity several other deficiencies.”
A report on inspection of the district jail basti, was received by the Administrative Judge, District Judgeship, Basti from Vinay Kumar Jaiswal, , Secretary, District Legal Services Authority.
The report was forward for necessary actions to the Chief Justice. And the Chief Justice considered it appropriate to place the report before the Bench having roster to hear public interest litigation.
On inspection the Secretary, District Legal Services Authority observed the lack of hygiene, cleanliness, medical facility, infrastructural issue and issue relating to vocational training. The detailed report was made on this observation. It was also observed that disposal of the parole application filed by inmates were pending and taking much time. No literacy and educational facility or library was provided to the inmates.
Also the CCTV cameras were not in function and there was irregularity in the attendance of the teacher posted in the prison. Also it is mention in the report that the COVID infected prisoners were separately kept in other building and no COVID protocol was followed in terms of social distancing and sanitisation.
The Court observed that,
“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.”
“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.” the Court opined.
The Court directed the State to respond to all the report and take appropriate action and necessary steps to satisfy the deficiencies pointed out.
The matter is listed on 25th November 2020 as a fresh case.
On 09th November the Delhi High Court, directed the Principal District and Session Judge to depute the 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.