New Delhi: Two murder convicts sentenced
to rigorous imprisonment were recently found loitering in
Tihar jail by an inspecting judge who passed critical comments
on lax rules in prisons.
This has triggered a debate whether rigorous
imprisonment really means the rigours of prison like hard
A look at different jail manuals in the country shows
that 99 per cent of the convicts being awarded RI may actually
be undergoing simple imprisonment in reality.
Sentenced to undergo RI in Delhi`s Tihar jail, an
ex-IPS officer looks after the library while another convict,
also undergoing RI, dishes out legal aid.
Many of those convicted to undergo rigorous
imprisonment in various other prisons may actually be serving
just simple imprisonment as the jails do not have enough work
for the convicts.
"Only 10 per cent of our RI prisoners get work and
rest sit idle as there is no work. Prison officials decide the
type of work to be given. Work is allocated to a prisoner
keeping in mind the best that can be got out of the prisoner,"
K V Reddy, president All India Prison Officers Association and
Deputy Superintendent of Jails, Andhra Pradesh said.
"The word RI needs refinement. Since it is not clearly
defined anywhere we end up following the simple rule that a RI
prisoner must work. A prisoner sentenced to simple
imprisonment has a choice but an RI sentenced prisoner has
none," Neeraj Kumar, DG Tihar Prisons said.