NEW DELHI: Expressing concern over the number of prisoners in the country’s jails, the Supreme Court on Friday said overcrowding has increased even after directives were passed to check it.
“The prison statistics available as on December 31, 2014, f rom t he website of NCRB indicate that as far as overcrowding is concerned, there is no perceptible change and in fact the problem has perhaps accentuated with the passage of time,” it said.
The court said despite various assurances by the government, there has been no significant change in the condition inside jails. “The sum and substance … is that prisoners, like all human beings, deserve to be treated with dignity,” it said.
The social j ustice bench also noted t hat maximum ove rc r owd in g wa s in the jail of Dadra and Nagar Haveli (331.7%), followed by Chhattisgarh ( 258.9%) and Delhi (221.6%).
The court issued notice to t he ministry of women and child development and directed it to prepare a prison manual after taking into consideration the condition of juveniles who are in observation homes.
“Prison reforms have been the subject matter of discussion and decisions rendered by t his court f rom t i me to time over the last 35 years. Unfortunately, even though Constitution requires a life of dignity for all persons, little appears to have changed on the ground as far as prisoners are concerned,” the bench said.