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HC seeks report from DG Prisons on condition of prisoners, jails

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Srinagar: The High Court today directed the Director General of Prisons (DGP) to submit a complete report on the condition of prisoners, under trials and jails within the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

The direction was passed by a division bench comprising Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Moksha Khajuria Kazmi in a public interest petition seeking better condition for jail inmates, especially the hundreds of political prisoners, according to the law.

The bench directed the DGP to submit a complete report with full details of the capacity of each jail in the Union Territory, the number of prisoners and the under trials lodged therein.

It also directed the DGP to file a comprehensive “report about the existing conditions as also the proposal with regard to the construction of any new jail within the Union Territory”.

In regard to the up gradation of the jail manual of the Union Territory of J&K, on the last occasion a statement was made by the authorities that it has been revised. They had pledged to place before the Court on the next date.

But interestingly the additional advocate general (AAG) of J&K was unable to make any submission in regard to the revision or amendment of the jail manual of the Union Territory.

She prayed the bench to grant some time for bringing on record the amended and revised jail manual.

Her prayer was accepted and was allowed two week time to file the report. In case of failure the AAG was directed “to deposit exemplary cost of rupees ten thousand before the Registry”.

The assistant solicitor of India appearing for the Union Territory of Ladakh informed the court that the jail manual has been amended and published.

He said the manual has been uploaded on the official website of the Union Territory. He further submitted “the manual of the Union Territory of Ladakh is now in parametria with the jail manual of the Tihar Jail rather much advanced”.

The court advised the stakeholders to go through the revised and amended jail manual and file objections, if any.

The case is now listed for further hearing on 22nd of July.

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