Shubham Gupta elucidates the unfair and unjust practices that the prisoners undergo in Indian jails, which comprise of corruption and insensitive police handling, along with other examples of deprivation of rights of the prisoners.
High-handedness of police and slow process of judiciary has killed people’s urge to involve in courtroom drama and police service. All classes, especially poor people, refrain from enjoying their legal rights which are framed for public service and public welfare. With the increasing problems in judicial process, rapid increase is being counted in prison also. Today prison conditions has become deplorable and lamentable and has become a home of dark shadows. Prolonged period of trials has changed the people’s view on judiciary and judicial system. They have lost their trust and faith in firm established system because of some wretched and dreadful conditions of courts and high corruption at every layer of judicial system.
Also, prisoners are residing in chock-o-block and jammed space of 2/6 ft area like pack of sardines which is disgraceful state of human mankind. Conditions has turned the trajectory of human mankind. Inmates are being tortured and beaten up daily and access to justice has become tough task.
TORTURE IN JAIL
Today the gray area of prison or jail is that, prisoners, and especially newcomers, becomes victim of suffering. They are being wretchedly tortured and beaten up in jail. What seems new is that the newcomers are recognized as rich or poor. If rich, money is asked from them, otherwise they would have to suffer.
Curbing individual freedom is the worst castigation to be made, but inhabiting in such surroundings where stench of bathroom and jammed space for sleep and worsen food of jail or prison, has made jail like hell.
The Article 5 of Universal Human Rights Declaration states that no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. In Indian law, torture is not legally defined anywhere, but a small context was given in case of DK Basu v. State of West Bengal in 1997.
“Torture is a wound in the soul so painful that sometimes you can almost touch it, but it is also so intangible that there is not way to heal it. Torture is anguish squeezing in your chest,cold as ice and heavy as a stone paralyzing as sleep and dark as the abyss”
In DK Basu v State of West Bengal, a guideline was issued under which new prisoners should be under medical checkup by a trained, after 48hrs of arrest.
Now it’s time for revolution, that is, a revolution for human rights and humanity.
A strong approach should be made in this context to particularly frame certain guidelines to prevent or reduce torture in jail and prison. Thus, Govt. institutions and NGOs should make a striking effort to crack inbuilt system which has become ingrained feature of jail. Not only inmates are being tortured but their relatives are also being tortured in execrable state. Their parents and relatives have been constantly infuriated by police and constant blunt efforts are made to skim out hard earned money.
UNDER TRIALS AND OVERFLOWED CAPACITY OF PRISON
The National Record Crime Bureau 2015 Prison Static Report depicts a disgraceful state of jail in India. Around 1401 jail are working in India, which have a capacity of around 3.6 lakhs, however, 2 lakh prisoners are surviving in critical conditions. Under the severe conditions, there are 68% under trial prisoners and 32% convicted, but often the under trial prisoners are made to live with convicted people.
‘Mulla commission’ was made in 1980 to scrutinize prison inmates and their background and picture of crime. A profound result was displayed, that showed that most inmates belonged to labour, agriculture and tribes section. Some of them became victim because they do not about law and legal procedure nor they do have money in their hands to hire a lawyer.
To the darker side, surgical blade is being used in jails.
Legal aid has become inaccessible component in their trial process. Though in Article 39 of the Indian Constitution, the provision for free legal aid has given, and the National Legal Aid Committee has also made under NALSA Act, 1987, to provide compulsory legal aid to under trial prisoner, but it has lost its essence to major extent.
Whenever old inmates ask for wines and juice, they are treated like VIP guests.
High money has been taken by high command officials. Thus, the situation in every angle seems to be adverse to inmates and their relatives. Money is collected like premium. A high monitor plan, is therefore, required to prevent this marketing practice in jail.
A high monitor effective mechanism should be framed and links maybe made with NGOs and institution for social work. Law students should come forward to step into legal aid work. Justice should become accessible to them and pending of cases should be dealt seriously. Mediation centres should be established to work as central effective agency, so as to reduce burden on judiciary. Law should be proponent of public service.