#RajyaSabha Question #1501
GOVERNMENT OF INDIA MINISTRY OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY RAJYA SABHA QUESTION NO 1501 ANSWERED ON 05.12.2014
Setting up of a panel to review cases of under trials
Will the Minister of LAW & JUSTICE be pleased to satate :-
- (a) whether a review panel was to be set up in every district, headed by the district judge with district magistrate and superintendent of police as members to meet every three months to review the cases of under trial prisoners, so that over crowding in jails could be reduced and to release those convicts who have been in custody for petty crimes for a long time due to delay in their trials; and
- (b) whether the Ministry has set up a monitoring committee to follow up with all States Governments and Union Territories in the matter?
MINISTER OF LAW AND JUSTICE SHRI D.V. Sadananda Gowda)
(a): ‘Prisons’ is a State subject and measures to address overcrowding in jails lie within the purview of the State Governments. However, in order to address the issue of overcrowding in jails, an advisory was issued to all the States and Union Territories on 17th January, 2013 advising them to consider constituting a ‘Review Committee’ in every district headed by the District Judge with the District Magistrate and District Superintendent of Police as members. The Committee is to meet every three months and review the cases of undertrial prisoners (UTPs) that have completed more than one fourth of the maximum sentence.
(b): In September 2014, the Supreme Court of India passed an order in the Bhim Singh case directing all judicial officers to effectively implement Section 436A of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Government has requsted the Chief Justices of the High Courts to advise the district judiciary to review all cases where under-trials are eligible for bail under Section 436 and 436A of CrPC, and take suo moto action for their release. They have also been advised to set up a mechanism in the High Courts for periodic monitoring of the release of undertrial prisoners.
Development of E-Prisons software has been initiated with the help of National Informatics Centre (NIC) to capture data relating to UTPs. Several States are using this software to generate data on UTPs. All the State Governments have been requested to review and revise Prison Manuals and use software applications to generate data of under-trial prisoners and review their cases periodically.