NHRC seminar to review implementation of prison reforms today
New Delhi: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) will today organize a two day seminar to review the status of implementation of prison reforms it had recommended.
The seminar is expected to be attended by senior representatives from the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, State Home Secretaries, DG/IG (Prisons) of States/UTs, State Human Rights Commissions and members of the civil society.
Indian prisons are plagued with a number of issues live overcrowding, lack of adequate medical case and under-staffing. Prisoners are treated horribly as they are subjected to custodial deaths, poor administration, lack of infrastructure, etc. These issues have been voiced by the NHRC on several occasions, but as they figured, have gone to deaf ears.
In April 2011 too, the NHRC had held a similar seminar, to address these problems. Now it will once again review the implementation status and moreover have a brainstorming session to figure out solutions.
The Commission in its official statement also said that the century-old Prisons Act, 1894, "does not appear to be in tune with the entirely transformed picture of human society" in "the changed socio-political scenario".
"The Supreme Court of India, by interpreting Article 21 of the Constitution, has developed human rights jurisprudence for the preservation and protection of prisoners' rights to maintain human dignity.
"Although, it is clearly mentioned that depriving a person of his life or personal liberty is justifiable according to procedure established by law, this procedure cannot be arbitrary, unfair or unreasonable," the statement added.