In an important judgment related to the rights of prisoners, the Uttarakhand High Court held that police personnel cannot be appointed as jail superintendents.
A division bench of Chief Justice Raghavendra Singh Chauhan and Justice Alok Kumar Verma said that we have come to the age of “prisoners of reform and rehabilitation”.
It is believed that the purpose of the police is very different from that of the jail superintendents and as a natural corollary, their training and psyche are different. Therefore, the former cannot have the status of the latter.
“The motive of the police is not to reform or rehabilitate, but to prevent the occurrence of crime, and to punish the wrongdoer. Therefore, much training of police personnel is done keeping in mind a different purpose, and different from that prescribed by law. Thus, there is a big difference in philosophy that allows police administration and prison administration.”
The PIL, challenging a state government order, comes under comments, under which police department officials were given additional charge of the office of Senior Superintendent of Police / Jail Superintendent in Sitarganj, Haldwani, Haridwar, Dehradun, and Roorkee.
In its decision declaring its fragmented order illegal, the Division Bench emphasized the need to select prison personnel, to provide rigorous training, before and after joining the service, at full-time appointment, regular appointment.