Tackle problem of overcrowding jails in Delhi: Panel

Last Updated: Thursday, December 24, 2009 - 21:42

New Delhi: Favouring better facilities for
inmates, a legislative panel has asked the Delhi Government to
urgently prepare a roadmap to tackle the problem of
overcrowding of prisoners in city jails.

The public accounts committee of Delhi Assembly said
nearly 11,500 prisoners are lodged in various jails in the
city against a total capacity of 6,250, resulting in violation
of various basic rights of inmates.

Overcrowding deprives the prisoners of their basic rights
like proper food, accommodation and health care facilities,
the PAC chaired by veteran legislator Prahlad Singh Sawhney said.

Describing the problem as "most alarming", the committee
asked the city Government to prepare a short-term roadmap
to tackle the problem by 2010.

"The prison department must prepare a short-term vision
to tackle the problem to a large extent by the year 2010," it
said.

The House panel also asked the Government to form a
committee to monitor construction work of the Mandoli jail
which will have a capacity of 3,500 inmates.

Taking into consideration the rapidly increasing
population and crime rate in the city, the panel told the
Government to prepare a long-term roadmap also to overcome the
problem.

"Besides the short-term roadmap, the department should
also formulate a long-term plan to ensure that the problem of
overcrowding of inmates can be completely resolved by the year
2020," the panel said.

Stressing that top priority should be given by the
prison department of Delhi Government to construct new jails,
the committee said the government must ensure speedy clearance
of such proposal by ensuring coordination among PWD, DDA and
other agencies concerned.

The Committee also asked the Government to examine
decriminalisation of certain offences in an effort to devise
alternatives to imprisonment for the offenders for certain
petty crimes.

It also asked the Government to help the prisoners in
getting legal aid and improve medical facilities in the jails.

The panel praised the Tihar jail authorities for
providing various facilities like satellite radio and indoor
games to the inmates.

This is the first report of the Committee on functioning
of prison department of Delhi Government and management of
jails.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, December 24, 2009 - 21:42

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