Human rights panel appalled at poor healthcare in prison

Human rights panel appalled at poor healthcare in prison

The State Human Rights Commission has recommended "urgent upgradation" of healthcare at Parappana Agrahara, the state's most populous penitentiary.

Meera C Saksena, who visited the prison as commission chairperson last month, found many patients lying on the floor. The prison hospital has just 100 beds, instead of the required 300, she observed. Meera retired last week, after submitting a report in this regard.

Huge numbers

Parappana Agrahara houses about a third of the total prison inmates in the state. Prisoners need periodic psychological counselling and therapy, the commission has said in a report, submitted to the government last week.

Krishna Bhat, principal district and sessions judge, Bangalore Rural District, who also visited the jail, said prisoners must be given proper food to which they are legally entitled.

He observed many doctors appointed to jail hospitals were indifferent to their work.

He called for better diagnostic and x-ray labs, and said attention to mental health in the jails was "far from satisfactory".

Besides Meera and judge Bhat, Jaishankar, member-secretary of the District Legal Aid Services Authority, and N S Megharikh, ADGP (prisons), were among those who met and discussed medical problems in jail.

Team of 50 cops mooted to take undertrials to courts

Bengaluru has a little over 100 city civil and sessions courts, and only two of them have video-conferencing.

As a result, those arrested and put in judicial custody spend long years without facing trial.

Since video-conferencing is not being used extensively, the government must set up a dedicated 50-member escort team to take undertrials to hospitals and courts, the State Human Rights Commission has said.

Unless full-fledged video-conferencing is in place, the problem of overcrowding of jails cannot be addressed, the commission has told the government in a report submitted last week.

The prison hospital has four doctors, one of them a woman, for 4,618 inmates.

Only about a hundred of them are women, and the woman  doctor mostly attends to them. In effect, just three doctors care for about 4,500 prisoners.

 

Now in central jail

* Convicts: 1,232

* Undertrials: 3,386

* Total: 4,618

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