The Maharashtra government has set up a five-member committee headed by a retired Bombay High Court judge to plan modernisation of prisons in the state. The committee, to be headed by Justice (retd) Dr S Radhakrishnan, will submit recommendations on ways of setting up a model prison in the state where essential services can be provided to prisoners.
The committee will also submit recommendations on how congestion can be avoided in the state’s prison system. The move comes in the backdrop of directives given to the state government by the Bombay High Court in March. The HC had given the directive while hearing a public interest litigation filed by NGO ‘Jan Adalat – Centre of Para-Legal Services and Legal Aid’ on the condition of jails in the state.
The court had directed the government to set up a committee headed by a retired HC judge with experts as members to conduct a scientific study on setting up a model prison with necessary infrastructure and steps to reduce overcrowding.
A division bench of Justice A S Oka and Justice A A Sayed had directed that the committee file its report along with recommendations in six months.
The court had also passed several directives to the government asking that it should provide a well-equipped hospital inside the prison with specialised doctors so that prisoners are not required to be admitted to public or private hospitals for treatment.
It had also said the state should establish creche, nursery and kindergarten schools and if necessary primary schools near the precincts of the jails so that the children of prisoners permitted to stay with their mothers can get proper education.