'Prisoners should be treated with dignity'

Noting that overcrowding in jails persists despite several orders, the Supreme Court on Friday directed the Undertrial Review Committee in each district to meet every quarter to ensure release of undertrial prisoners, entitled under the law, and convicts who have undergone their sentence.

A bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and R K Agrawal passed a slew of directions to authorities so that prisoners should not remain in jail for their inability to furnish bail bonds or the convicts granted remission.

“The prisoners, like all human beings, deserved to be treated with dignity,” the bench said, citing National Crime Record Bureau data as on December 31, 2014 indicating overcrowding in the jail of the maximum in Dadra and Nagar Haveli (331.7 per cent), followed by Chhattisgarh (258.9 per cent) and Delhi (221.6 per cent).

“It is clear that in spite of several orders passed by this court from time to time in various petitions, for one reason or another, the issue of overcrowding in jails continues to persist,” the bench said.

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