New panel for speedy trials of inmates

This year,around 116 undertrial prisoners of Alipore Correctional Home went on a hungerstrike for two months demanding speedy trial. The inmates alleged that more than 1,000 people are confined in different jails of the state for more than three and more years either without trial or their never ending hearings in the case.

Written by Sulagna Sengupta | Kolkata | Published:September 20, 2012 2:54 am

This year,around 116 undertrial prisoners of Alipore Correctional Home went on a hungerstrike for two months demanding speedy trial. The inmates alleged that more than 1,000 people are confined in different jails of the state for more than three and more years either without trial or their never ending hearings in the case

Following the recommendations of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC),the state Correctional Home Service Department is going to appoint a panel of lawyers for speedy disposal of cases of undertrials.

A meeting was convened with the officials of the NHRC at Writer’s Building recently and it was decided that as the undertrials often goes for hunger strikes for early disposal of their cases,an exclusive panel of lawyers will be set up under this department for the purpose.

Till now,all cases of the undertrial prisoners are proceeded through High Court or district courts and as a result although their jail term ends,they have to wait following the legal hassles. Even the officers of the State Legal Service Authority (LSA),who are entitled to look after the cases of undertrial prisoners,seldom visit the jail.

IG Prison Ranvir Kumar said: “It is a real problem for the undertrial prisoners. We have just floated this proposal. We have asked the judiciary department to help us in appointing the lawyers. In Kolkata ,a separate panel of lawyers will be set up to look after the cases of undertrials,while in 19 districts separate panel of lawyers will be set for speedy disposal of their cases.

This year,around 116 undertrial prisoners of Alipore Correctional Home went on a hungerstrike for two months demanding speedy trial. The inmates alleged that more than 1,000 people are confined in different jails of the state for more than three and more years,either without trial or their never ending hearings in the case.

According to the Supreme Court ruling,an accused has the right to get bail after the submission of chargesheet since with its submission,investigation ends.

In July 2006,Bappaditya Dey was arrested on charges of murder,accused of murder. After three months,Kolkata Police submitted a chargesheet against him. In the final report,Bappaditya was one of the four accused. Police by then managed to arrest him and another accused,Deepak Das. But in the past six years,police failed to arrest two other accused named in the chargesheet. But Bappaditya has still not been granted bail.

Three months after moving the bail petition,his plea was heard in the sessions court. The trial is going on for the past six years and 32 witnesses are yet to be examined. No one knows when his trial will be completed.

The agitating inmates claimed that like Bappaditya,over 250 inmates of Alipore Central Jail are languishing behind the bars despite having the right to get bail.

Earlier in November 2011,inmates of Alipore Correctional Home wenrt on a 11-day hunger strike for the same reason. But the fast was withdrawn after the law minister assured them of speedy trial.

According to the figures collected from the state correctional home authorities,cases of around 15,000 undertrial prisoners are pending till September 2012.

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