ACTING ON the directions of the Bombay High Court, the government has constituted a five-member committee to look into jail reforms. The HC is hearing a PIL seeking reforms in prisons.
According to the Government Resolution (GR), the committee will look into a host of issues ranging from modernisation of prisons, the problem of overcrowding and the facilities required in upcoming prisons.
The committee comprises retired High Court judge Dr S Radhakrishnan, Additional Director General of Prisons Bhushan Kumar Upadhyay, Dr Vijay Raghavan of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), retired jail superintendent S N Chavan and a joint or deputy secretary in the prisons department.
The GR says the committee will look into the rules under the new prison manual, 2016 and the judgments given by various High Courts and the Supreme Court on prison reforms and will recommend how to create a model prison or make changes in the existing facilities.
The GR also says the committee will make suggestions to tackle the problem of overcrowding in jails. “Based on the directions of the court, a committee has been constituted. It will look into a whole range of issues concerning prisons in Maharashtra especially at the topic of overcrowding which has been a major issue concerning the prisons department.”
“The committee will also recommend various facilities that should be available in the upcoming prisons and the changes that can be brought in the existing facilities,” said a senior official from the Maharashtra home department.
A PIL had been filed in 2015 on the prevailing conditions in jails in Maharashtra and the need for reform.