Tackle problem of overcrowding jails in Delhi: Panel
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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.


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

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