Supreme Court to constitute committee to look into issues in jails across country

The Supreme Court on August 8 ordered the constitution of a committee under the chairmanship of its retired judge to look into issues and problems in jails, including overcrowding and also suggest steps to deal with the same.

The SC said that the committee for prison reforms will also have two or three government officers, who will coordinate with the retired judge and look into the issues, and also apprise the SC regarding suggestions to improve the lifestyle of inmates staying in overcrowded jails.

A three-judge bench comprising of Justice Madan Bhimrao Lokur, S Abdul Nazeer and Deepak Gupta observed that the committee will also deal with issues, including that of women prisoners languishing in jails across the country.

The bench has fixed the matter for hearing on August 17. The bench also expressed its displeasure that the government has collected a huge amount under the orders of the apex court but the funds are not being utilized adequately.

Attorney General (AG) K K Venugopal, representing the Central government, told the court, “We have multiple problems. Finance is one of the major hurdles. We are trying to overcome this.”

On replying to attorney general’s comment Justice Lokur said, “We (court) are also trying our best to solve problems. Also, we are not creating any hurdles in the way of the Central government.”

 “We are making it clear that we have not and we are not criticising the government for everything,” Lokur added.