The Delhi government has directed Tihar Jail authorities to implement the updated prison manual, notified in October, within two months, after the jail administration raised red flags.
Sources told The Indian Express that Home Minister Satyendar Jain has written to the Tihar administration, stating that the notification issued by the Home Department has full backing of the law and should be implemented within two months.
“The minister has written that the rules need not be routed through the L-G as the subject of prison comes under the elected government,” sources said.
Tihar authorities had written to the Home Department, stating that the rules have not been routed through the Legislative Assembly as required under the Delhi Prison Act, 2000, and also lack the L-G’s nod.
The rules, under which parole and furlough will not be counted as part of the sentence of a convict, were notified after a prolonged delay on the question of whether the elected government or the L-G has the authority to approve it.
A Delhi High Court bench, headed by Chief Justice Rajendra Menon, had in September informed the Delhi government’s standing counsel that the Additional Chief Secretary could notify the rules, drawn up by a committee comprising officials under Special Secretary (Home) Ajay Garg.
Subsequently, the rules were notified and published in the Delhi Gazette. Principal Secretary (Home) Manoj Parida said the rules were vetted by the Law Department.
Officials, on condition of anonymity, claimed Tihar authorities have no locus standi to raise any objections. The Tihar administration had asked for four months to implement the rules, while also urging the government to bring in certain changes such as replacing the term “IG Prisons” with IG Prisons cum DG Prisons.
“The position of Tihar is contradictory. On one hand they have sought more time to implement the rules, on the other they have questioned its legal sanctity,” a source said.