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An analysis of the rights of prisoners in

The issues and problems faced by the prisoners and their rights.

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An analysis of the rights of prisoners in

  1. 1. An Analysis Of the Rights Of Prisoners In Kolkata correctional homes With Special Reference To Conditions, Treatment, Access To Service And Timely Release. Shaheer Ahmed Mubarki
  2. 2. They say prisons are the mirrors of a society’s beliefs. • the early prisons were only places of detention where an offender was detained until trial and judgment and the execution of the latter. The structure of the society in ancient India was founded on the principles enunciated by Manu. Vedic India •During the Mughal period sources of law and its character essentially remained Quranic. Imprisonment was not resorted as a form of punishment in the case of ordinary criminals. It was used mostly as a means of detention only. Mughals •The prison system as it operates today in our country is a legacy of the British rule. It was an ingenious creation of the colonial rulers Over our indigenous penal system with the prime motive of making imprisonment “a terror to wrong doers”25. Nevertheless it was a great leap in the history of our penal reforms as it facilitated the abolition of our old fashion system of barbarous punishments and substitution of imprisonment as the chief form of punishment for crimes. British
  3. 3. International Laws • defines humanitarian protections for prisoners of war. These laws provide protection to war prisoners from physical, mental, emotional tortures, etc. Third Geneva Convention • The article imposes a requirement of separation of prisoners in pre-trial detention from those already convicted of crimes, as well as a specific obligation to separate accused juvenile prisoners from adults and bring them before trial speedily. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights •The document sets out standards for those in custody which covers registration, personal hygiene, clothing and bedding, food, exercise and sport, medical services, discipline and punishment, instruments of restraint, information to and complaints by prisoners, contact with the outside world, books, religion, retentions of prisoners’ property, notification of death, illness, transfer, removal of prisoners, institutional personnel and inspection of facilities. The UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners •. The Convention establishes the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (the Committee). The Committee is permitted to visit all places of detention, defined by the convention as "any place within its jurisdiction where persons are deprived of their liberty by a public authority." The European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
  4. 4. Rights of the Prisoners in India 1. The police personnel carrying out the arrest and handling the interrogation of the arrestee should bear accurate, visible and clear identification and name tags with their designations. The particulars of all such police personnel who handle interrogation of the arrestee must be recorded in a register. 2. That the police officer carrying out the arrest of the arrestee shall prepare a memo of arrest at the time of arrest and such memo shall be attested by at least one witness, who may be either a member of the family of the arrestee or a respectable person of the locality from where the arrest is made, it shall also he countersigned by the arrestee and shall contain the time and dale of arrest. 3. A person who has been arrested or detained and is being held in custody in a police station or interrogation centre or other lock-up, shall be entitled to have one friend or relative or other person known to him or having interest in his welfare being informed, as soon as practicable, that he has been arrested and is being detained at the particular place, unless the attesting witness of the memo of arrest is himself such a friend or a relative of the arrestee. 4. The time, place of arrest and venue of custody of an arrestee must be notified by the police where the next friend or relative of the arrestee lives outside the district or town through the Legal Aid Organisation in the District and the police station of the area concerned telegraphically within a period of 8 to 12 hours after the arrest. 5. The person arrested must be made aware of this right to have someone informed of his arrest or detention as soon as he is put under arrest or is detained. 6. An entry must be made in the diary at the place of detention regarding the arrest of the person which shall also disclose the name of the next friend of the person who has been informed; of the arrest and the names and particulars of the police officials in whose custody the arrestee is. 7. The arrestee should, where he so requests, be also examined at the time of his arrest and major and minor-injuries, if any, present on his/her body, must be recorded at that time. The "Inspection Memo" must be signed both by the arrestee and the police officer effecting the arrest and its copy provided to the arrestee. 8. The arrestee should be subjected to medical examination by a trained doctor every 48 hours during his detention in custody by a doctor on the panel of approved doctors appointed by Director, Health Services of the concerned State or Union Territory, Director, Health Services should prepare such a panel for all Tehsils and Districts as well. 9. Copies of all the documents including the memo of arrest, referred to above, should be sent to the Magistrate for his record. 10. The arrestee may be permitted to meet his lawyer during interrogation, though not throughout the interrogation. 11. A police control room should be provided at all district and State headquarters, where information regarding the arrest and the place of custody of the arrestee shall be communicated by the officer causing the arrest, within 12 hours of effecting the arrest and al the police control room it should be displayed on a conspicuous police, board.
  5. 5. Prison Act 1. Accommodation for prisoners. 2. Control and duties of officers of prisons 3. Officers not to have business dealings with prisoners. 4. Officers not-to be interested in prison-contracts. 5. Duties of officers (general, superintendent, jailor, medical officer, prisoner officers, etc.). 6. Subordinate officers not to be absent without leave. 7. Convict officers. 8. Admission, removal and discharge of prisoners 9. Discipline of prisoners 10. Food, clothing and bedding of civil and unconvicted criminal prisoners 11. Employment of prisoners 12. Health of prisoners 13. Visits to prisoners 14. Offences in relation to prisons 15. Prison-offences
  6. 6. THE WEST BENGAL CORRECTIONAL SERVICE ACT, 1992  A central correctional home shall affiliate to itself a district correctional home or special correctional home or subsidiary correctional home or correctional home for women in such manner as may be prescribed.  The State Government shall by notification determine the number of any category of correctional home and the place at which correctional home shall situate.  An open correctional home shall not be surrounded by any boundary wall and shall be used for confinement of such long-term prisoners and on such conditions as may be prescribed, for giving such prisoners more liberty and more opportunity of association with the social life outside a correctional home and facilitating their after-release rehabilitation.
  7. 7. Jails in India and West Bengal Type Number Total Capacity Central Jails 123 137,249 District Jails 333 124,768 Sub Jails 809 50,908 Women Jails 19 4,271 Open Jails 44 3,766 Borstal Schools 21 2,218 Special Jails 30 9,279 Other Jails 3 323 Total 1382 332,782 Type Number Central Correctional Homes 6 Open Air Correctional Home 2 District Correctional Homes 12 Special Correctional Homes 3 Women's Correctional Homes 2 Sub-Correctional Homes 33 Total 58
  8. 8. Problems in Prisons of West Bengal  Over crowding  Corruption and extortion  Unsatisfactory living conditions  Staff shortage and poor training  Inequalities and distinctions  Inadequate prison programmes  Poor spending on health care and welfare  Lack of legal aid  Abuse of prisoners  Health Problems in prisons  Women’s Health Care in Prisons is not satisfactory
  9. 9. Thesis Findings  Some of the thesis findings are provided below which were in the scope of this presentation: 1. Lack of legal aid 2. Lack of required provisions which lead to lack of knowledge to the inmates’ families about the latter. 3. Most of the Bangladeshi inmates complained of discrimination. 4. Lack of commodities such as soap, detergents, etc. 5. Most of the inmates complained about the food they were being provided to eat. 6. But there was 1 bathroom for 50-70 inmates. 7. Majority of the inmates are under-trials and since the government is not ready to bear their expenses their live is worst in the prison. There was an inmate who had spent 3 months in the prison in just the pair of clothes that he had worn at the time of arrest. A very important source for these findings was Prof. Biswanath Chakravorty, Rabindra Bharati University, B. T. Road.
  10. 10. Reccommendations
  11. 11. Acknowlodgement I deeply acknowledge the valuable guidance provided by Dr. C.J.Dias. I would also like to thank Ms. Arpita Ghosh, Mr. M. Mondal, Mr. A.K.Ghosh, Mr. Das, and all teachers who took classes in our M.A.Part 1 course without whose able guidance my knowledge on Human Rights would have remained incomplete. I am also grateful to Mr.Shantanu Adhikari and Mr.Ranjit Karmakar of Bullygunge Science College, Calcutta University for their whole hearted support in carrying out the project work.I would like to thank my class mates for creating a conducive atmosphere for me to work.I would like to extend my thanks to my friend Supriyo Singh, Suchita Sharma, Shaheer Ahmed Munarki and all others without whose support and active criticism this project work would have remained incomplete. Last but not the least I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to my parents Mr.Sami Mubarki and Mrs. Gulshan Mubarki, my sisters Mrs. Afreen Ahmed, Ms.Tehseen Mubarki and Ms Farheen Mubarki for their never ending support and encouragement in carrying out the project work. Mr. Sujato Bhadra, Civil Rights Activist from West Bengal, and Professor, Human Rights University of Calcutta