Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Allahabad HC irked over convict’s detention after completion of term

The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High court has expressed serious concern on the detention of a prisoner in Hardoi jail, even 11 months after he served out the sentence awarded to him.

The bench has summoned the Hardoi jail superintendent to explain as to why the prisoner was illegally detained in the jail.

A bench of Justice Shamim Ahmad also summoned the director general, prisons, to apprise it as to how many prisoners have been detained in jails across Uttar Pradesh even after they have served out the awarded punishment.

The bench sought affidavits of the two officials.

The appellant, Arvind a.k.a Naga, was convicted on November 28, 2022, under sections 354(b) (use of criminal force to disrobe woman), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and was punished with a maximum sentence of five years along with a fine in Hardoi’s Shahabad.

His lawyer Pragati Singh told the bench that the appellant had been in jail since December 20, 2017, and as such he had already served out the awarded sentence, but despite this, he was still detained in jail for over 11 months.

“The state government must be directed to pay compensation to the appellant for the illegal detention period,” demanded the appellant’s lawyer.

Notably, the Supreme Court (SC) has been concerned over the overcrowding in the state’s prisons.

The apex court had also pulled up the Allahabad high court for not deciding the bail petitions expeditiously, to ease the situation.

According to a prison department report of the last year, a total of 1,12,480 prisoners were lodged in 64 jails across the state as on March 31, 2022, and 85,181 of them were undertrials, whose strength was more than three times the strength of convicts (27,299).

As per the data from the state’s Prison Administration and Reform Services, 62 district jails with a capacity of 49,107 prisoners have 95,597 prisoners lodged in them, with the ratio of 194 per cent.

There are two sub jails with a capacity of 306 prisoners in which 664 inmates are lodged with its ratio coming to 216 per cent.

Besides, the seven central jails of Uttar Pradesh have 15,201 inmates lodged in them, which is a ratio of 111 per cent.

The women’s central jail has a capacity of 120 prisoners, against which 148 prisoners are detained, with a ratio of 123 per cent.

Undertrials make up the bulk of the prison inmates in the state.

20231208173665

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