THE FIVE-member committee formed to look into urgent jail reforms will visit the Byculla and Arthur Road jails on July 19 to study conditions there. The panel held its first meeting Monday. Acting on the directions of the Bombay High Court, the state had constituted a committee to look into jail reforms. It includes a retired High Court judge, the incumbent Additional Director General of Prisons and a professor from the Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS).
The HC was hearing a PIL seeking reform in prisons, when it asked the government to study the condition in jails. “Since the (Manjula) Shetye incident took place inside the Byculla jail premises, the committee plans to visit this jail first. This would be followed by a visit to Arthur Road jail,” said an official.
“The purpose of the visit is to see the conditions in which the inmates are living and to speak to them and the officials to better understand the issue at hand,” added the official. According to the GR passed on June 6, the committee will look into a host of issues ranging from modernisation of prisons, overcrowding in jails and the facilities required in upcoming prisons. The committee comprises retired judge Dr S Radhakrishnan, ADGP (Prisons) Bhushan Kumar Upadhyay, retired jail superintendent S N Chavan, Dr Vijay Raghavan from TISS and the joint or the deputy secretary in the prisons department.