New Delhi : The Supreme Court on Tuesday expressed shock at the large number of people languishing in jails in “complete violation” of their rights despite recommendations for their release by the legal services authority, saying such a situation was unacceptable.
“What is this happening? People are languishing in jails and there is problem of overcrowding of jails also. Look at the NALSA affidavit. It gives an indication what is going on,” the apex court told the government, reports PTI.
A bench comprising Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta referred to the figures and told Attorney General K K Venugopal that there were thousands of prisoners who were not released from jails by the states even after being granted bail or completing their sentences.
Referring to the data relating to such inmates contained in an affidavit filed by National Legal Services Authority (NALSA), the bench termed it as a “pretty shocking state of affairs” and said this situation cannot be accepted.
When the Attorney General told the bench that the Centre has been issuing advisories to the states from time to time to release such persons from jails but they were not doing it, the bench retorted: “You should stop advising the states if they are not listening to you. “It cannot go on like this. You are giving advise to states and it is thrown into the waste basket.” Venugopal said advisories have been ignored by the states and the court should ask the state governments about it.
During the hearing, advocate Gaurav Agrawal, the amicus curiae in the matter, gave a note containing a proforma or questionnaire prepared by him for responses to be given by the states on various aspects of jail and prison management. Agrawal told the court that he had circulated it to the Ministry of Home Affairs on Monday and would forward it to the state governments as well.
Venugopal said the concerned Ministry officers would render all assistance in finalising the questionnaire within 10 days.