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Rights Of Prisoner's

"Hate The Crime, Not The Criminals"--Mahatma Gandhi
Prison is a facility where criminals who have violated the law are put in safe custody before trial or punishment.

Today, there are around 10.36 million inmates in the world. According to the Ministry of Home

Affairs' National Crime Record Bureau, there are 1319 operational jails in India.[1]

The data shows that there are 1319 prisons in nation out of which 564 local jails, 424 district jail,148 Central Jail 88 open jails 32 women jails 19 Borstal schools and 3 other jails.

There are 5,54,034 prisoners in the jail and 4,27,165 are under trial.[2]

According to Nelson Mandela "it is said that no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats it's highest citizens but it's lowest ones".

Lord Macaulay proposed shows interest in creation of such laws and restrictions, whose primary goal was to eradicate criminal tendencies in convicted offenders. Turning the pages of Indian history reveals accounts of inmates. In Hindu text Manusmriti, it is said the ruler must

have control over all such prisons, where all the bad offenders are housed. Huein-Tsang and FaHein asserted that the sophisticated treatment of captives in ancient India was unheard of and that inmates were subjected to severe and savage punishment.

Our prison system underwent a significant adjustment once we gained our independence. Around 1951, team send the United Nations were asked about examine jail system, also it was said that they made some recommendations to further prisoners' rights.India, still lack legislated prisoner rights, but our honourable judiciary has recognised a large list of these rights, and the government continues to fight for the welfare of the prisoners.

After a writ petition,The apex court of country debating with the federal and government at state level about how to reform prisoners' worsening conditions, a lack of specialist and training resources, inadequate infrastructure, etc. Therefore, that is essential to claim the prisoners constitutional protections. These rights constitute violation of human interest in the criminal justice delivery system unless the government make awareness about their rights.[3]

There is no codified laws on the rights of prisoners but the supreme court through its landmark judgement from time to time describe the rights. Like In one of the case apex ruled that

"imprisonment does not spell farewell to fundamental rights although, by a realistic re-appraisal, Courts will refuse to recognize the full panoply of Part III enjoyed by a free citizen".

Rights Impliedly Conferred To Prisoners In Constitution:
  • Right To Privacy
  • Right To Education
  • Right To Free Legal Aid
  • Right To Speedy Trial
  • Right To Medical Aid
  • Right To A Fair Trial
  • Right To Food And Shelter
  • Right To Live With Human Dignity
  • Narco Analysis/Polygraph/Brain Mapping
  • Rights Against Cruel And Unusual Punishment
  • Right Against Custodial Violence And Death In The Lock Up Or Encounters
There are many other rights which are implicitly provided under Indian constitution through supreme court but we will discuss some basis fundamental rights.
  1. Right To Privacy
    Right to privacy which has been conferred under Article 21 of Indian constitution are not only available to its citizens who is outside the jail but it also available to the person who are in police or judicial custody means who are in jail.

    Rahmath Nisha V Additional Director General of Prisoners and others
    Mohammed Shalin, alleged perpetrator in the Chennai bombing in 2008, is being held in Palyankottai Central Jail.

    The accused had ten days to see his wife, but by the time he did, she had been seriously ill and had been transferred to the hospital's intensive care unit. however, the police personal denied to let him go to the hospital, saying that the order is only for clearance to go home had been granted.

    The high court of Madras accept the petition from the accused side and allow him to visit his wife in hospital and also ask the police personal that there meeting should not be watched, it is his privacy.[4]
  2. Right To Live With Human Dignity:
    Dignified life is guaranteed under the Indian Constitution. The prisoners are also given this privilege because their conviction does not immediately render them inhuman. The right to life is one of the most important provisions in the Indian constitution. No of the situation, each and every prisoners life value, and they must provide dignified life.5

    The courts have expanded rights given under article 21 of the Indian constitution.
    1. Pandit Parmanand Vs Union Of India, Air 1989 Sc 2039
      In this case the convict hanged under capital punishment by the court but the dead body was not lowered even after � an hour, though the doctor had already issued a death certificate.

      The apex court held that right dignity not only include right to live with dignity but it also include right to die with dignity.6
    2. State Of Andhra Pradesh V. Challa Ramakrishna Reddy:.
      • In this case the deceased challa Reddy and his son was a offender, They were arrested and send to the judicial custody On 5th and 6th May 1977 some person miscreants inter into the jail and hurled the bomb as a result of which challa Reddy was dies after some day.
      • The son file a petition for damages but the state denied by saying it was a sovereign function. But the court held that the right to life and personal liberty which has been given under article 21 of the Indian constitution does not exist, it also available when the person send to the jail.7
    3. Kharak Singh V. State Of UP
      The court in the aforementioned case decided that "life" refers to more than just an animal's existence. One could argue that the right to life extends beyond just an animal existence. It implies something more than just a being's physical survival.
  3. Right To Education:
    Under Indian constitution right to education is a fundamental right and t is the duty of the state to provide basic education to its citizens, the same rights are also available to those person who are in jail.

    Mohammad Giasuddin V. State Of AP
    The state government was order to investigate the type of labour and work supplied to the convicts and also held that the work must "not of a monotonous, mechanical, intellectual or like type mixed with a title manual labour" The high court additionally ruled those convicts who are interested in pursuing higher or more advanced education must also be provided with the opportunity to connect via correspondence courses. Additionally, rudimentary education in areas like doll-making, needlework, and tailoring should be made available to the female convicts. Additionally, opportunities for mental-plus-manual productive labour should be provided for the educated convicts.[5]

    Right to receive books/magazines

    George Fernandes V. State
    Nagpur Central Jail Superintendent had set a limit of 12 books that would be available to convicts, and the court took notice of this. "unsuitable". According to the 1951 Bombay Conditions of Detention Order, this was declared.

    The court went on to say that the most bothersome and least justified of all the restrictions on freedom are those that prevent people from seeking knowledge, education, and happiness. Absent extraordinary and justifiable circumstances, intellectual progress cannot be stopped. It is commonly used that books of teaching and acclaim have been authored in jail.[6]

    Right to Publication
    Bombay Detention Order of 1951 does not prohibit a prisoner from writing or publishing a book, the Supreme Court held in a case where the prisoner was restricted the access to a scholarly book. According to Defence of India Rules, 1962, inmate requested book ("Inside the Atom") can't to be injurious to the public safety because it was solely a work of science, the document stated.

    Further, in State Of Maharashtra V. Prabhakar Pandurang Sanzgir
    This case one of the prisoner who wrote a book in a jail, when he handover to his wife for publication it was restricted and denied by the jail authority. The accused filed a writ petition the petition was accepted and it was held by the court that restrictions of publication of book without any reasonable ground is violative of article 21.[7]

    Rajgopal V. State Of Tamil Nadu
    Gauri Shankar was sentenced to death penalty by the court for the murder of 6 people.

    While incarcerated at Chenglepat Sub-Jail in 1991, Auto Shankar penned his 300-page autobiography. With the knowledge and consent of the jail staff, he gave the autobiography to his wife, Smt. Jagdishwari, who then gave it to his lawyer, The prisoner asked his attorney to see that the petitioners' journal, Nakkheeran, published his memoirs. The same was accepted by the petitioners. In multiple letters to his counsel and the original petitioner, Auto Shankar expressed this intention. The prisoner's tight relationship with a number of IAS, IPS, and other officers� some of whom were actually his criminal partners�is detailed in the autobiography. However after some time the jail official denied of permission which was given in the beginning and also impose restrictions on Publication on the ground of defamation.

    The Supreme Court held that prisoner having right to publish it's autobiography, if there will be any thing which is not true about the person against whom he is written he may afterward file a suit for defamation.[8]
  4. Right To Speedy Trial
    Quick trial of malefactors is one of the main objects of the felonious justice delivery system. Once the blameworthiness has been conceded by the court, the trial must be concluded as soon as possible to discipline the shamefaced and clear the innocent. It's presumed that a person is innocent until their guilt is established. thus, it's pivotal to determine the indicted's innocence as snappily as doable. Because of this, the court has a duty to insure that no bone who's shamefaced escapes, as well as that justice is delivered hastily and that the indicted aren't exposed to ceaseless importunity. Noting that " detention in trial by itself constitute denial of justice " is pivotal. The notorious quotation is " Justice delayed is justice denied "

    Ar Antulay V. Rs Nayak
    The Supreme Court established thorough criteria for those who were set up shamefaced in a felonious case, but it didn't specify a set quantum of time for the offense's trial. The court ruled that Article 21 gives rise to the right to a prompt trial, and that this right covers all phases of an disquisition, including the inquiry, trial, appeal, review, and retrial. It was held by the court that a defendant's right to a speedy trial can not be denied on the grounds that he didn't request one. It was also emphasised that the period for trial must be notified taking into account a number of factors, including the nature of the offence, the number of indicted, the number substantiations, . The court held that if the speedy trial of accused has been violated the charges against him should be quashes.
  5. Right To Legal Aid
    An indicted person awaiting trial, or any internee or con, for that matter, depends heavily on legal aid. Free legal services were fitted into the Indian Constitution as part of Composition 39A under the heading Directive Principles of State Policy by the 42nd Amendment( 1976). The State is needed to bear this composition in mind while establishing laws and morals for detainees, malefactors, or cons.

    In 1987, the Legal Services Authorities Act was passed by the congress, furnishing legal aid. also, it instructed different state governments to produce Legal Aid and Advice Boards and design programmes intended to offer Free Legal Aid. This was done in order to give effect to Composition 39- A of the Constitution. Legal aid has a wider compass and is applicable in matters involving civil, executive, or fiscal issues as well as felonious bones according to the mortal rights law of India. [9]

    Justice Krishna Iyer emphatically declared that " Right to free legal aid is the State 's duty and not Government's charity ".
  6. Right Against Solitary Confinement And Bar Fetters
    Solitary confinement means an improvement in which the accused or convict person are put in a different cell for a short period of time.

    The idea behind putting a person in a solitary confinement is to educate notorious cons disciplines and give safety to other convicts from them so he cannot harm himself or other .the supreme court give a clear guidliness in a case of Sunil Batra. Delhi Administration, the apex court held that solitary confinement can only be given into exceptional cases, it can only be given when the inmate's is of such violant nature who may cause harm to other. Keeping convicts in bar fetters day and night lowers them to the status of an beast and was sens their internal health, the court further set up. thus, the courts have expressed significant opposition to solitary confinement and described it as being extremely dehumanising and affronting in nature. also, they've claimed that similar restrictions go against the spirit of the Indian Constitution[10]
  7. Right Against Hand-Cuffling
    Prem Shankar V Delhi Administration
    Supreme court held that in light of Composition 21 hand cuffing is prima facie inhuman and thus, unreasonable and arbitrary.
  8. Narco Analysis/ Lie Detector/ Brain Mapping
    Selvi V State Of Karnataka Supreme court held that Narco Analysis, lie detector test and brain mapping unconstitutional and violative of mortal rights. But the supreme court held that such test can only be admissible in a court when the accused give his consent for such test other wise it will be violation of article 20(3) of the Indian constitution.
  9. Right To Reasonable Wages In Prison
    Peoples Union For Popular Rights Vs Union Of India, Air 1982 Sc 1473).
    According to the guidelines setup by the supreme court every working inmates should be given proper wages according to their work..

Internee Rights Under Incarcerations Act, 1894

Section 4
Accommodation for captures. � The State Government shall give, for the captures in the homes under similar Government, accommodation in incarcerations constructed and regulated in similar manner as to misbehave with the importunities of this Act in respect of the separation of captures.

Section 27
27. Separation of captures. The importunities of this Act with respect to the Separation of captures are as follows In a captivity containing womanish as well as manly captures, the ladies shall Be locked in separate structures, or separate corridor of the same structure, in similar Manner as to help their seeing, or conversing or holding any intercourse with, the manly captures. In a prison where male prisoners under the age of twenty-one are confined, Means shall be provided for separating them altogether from the other prisoners and For separating those of them who have arrived at the age of puberty from those who Have not;
  1. Unconvinced criminal prisoners shall be kept apart from convicted criminal Prisoners; and
  2. Civil prisoners shall be kept apart from criminal prisoners.

Section 31
31. Maintenance of certain prisoners from private sources.�A civil Prisoner or an unconvicted criminal prisoner shall be permitted to maintain himself, And to purchase, or receive from private sources at proper hours, food, clothing, Bedding or other necessaries, but subject to examination and to such rules as may be Approved by the Inspector General.

Section 34
34. Employment of civil prisoners.�(1) Civil prisoners may, with the Superintendent's permission, work and follow any trade or profession.

Section 37
37. Sick prisoners:
  1. The names of prisoners desiring to see the Medical Subordinate or appearing out of health in mind or body shall, without delay, by Reported by the officer in immediate charge of such prisoners to the Jailor.[11]
Prisoners remains human beings after they imprisoned. In order to prevent the rights of prisoners the supreme court and high through its landmark judgement setup a criteria or guidliness to give them proper rights.

The state and central government should also provide essential of the life like education, book, Privacy, food etc. to reform the prisoners

One may argue that whenever the legislative and executive branches have erred, the country's judiciary has been instrumental in defending the rights of detainees. It has repeatedly protected

the prisoners' fundamental rights and served as their saviour. Through judicial activism, it has fully utilised its authority and consistently created new solutions and instruments to defend people's rights to life and personal freedom. But there is still a lot to be done. In this regard, widespread distribution of inmates' access to human rights, extensive media coverage of prisoners' rights, and round-the-clock prison security may be some of the keys to protecting prisoners' rights and safeguarding their safety within.

  1. National crime record bureau (NCRB), Prison Statistics India -2021- Executive Summary, e-journal (Last visit on 15 April at 9 pm)
  2. World Prisoner Brief, Institute for Crime & Justice Policy Research (ICPR), at Birkbeck, University of London, (Last visited on April 15th, 2023, 9:00 PM)
  3. Adv. Dinesh Singh Chauhan, Rights of prisoners under Indian laws, legal service India e-journal (Last visit on 15th April 2023,10 PM)
  4. Indian kanoon (28 May 2019) Rahmath Nisha vs Additional Director General of Prisoners and others -
  5. Adv. Dinesh Singh Chauhan, Rights of prisoners under Indian laws, legal service India e-journal (Last visit on 15 April 2023 at 11 pm)
  6. Mahelaka Abrar, Rights of prisoners and major judgement on it, blog.ipleaders e-journal (Last visit on 15 April 2023 at 10 PM)
  7. Mahelaka Abrar, Rights of prisoners and major judgement on it, blog.ipleaders e-journal visit on 15 April 2023 at 10 PM)
  8. Jus corpus (November 23,2022) R. Rajagopal And Ors V State Of Tamil Nadu e-journal (Last visit on April 15 at 10 PM)
  9. Prisoners Right, National Anti crime Human Rights council of India (NACHRCOI) (Last visit on April 15 at 11 pm)
  10. Mahelaka Abrar, Rights of prisoners and major judgement on it, blog.ipleaders e-journal (Last visit on 15 April 2023 at 11 PM)
  11. The Prisons Act, 1894 (Act no IX of 1894) CONTENT. India code, e-journal (Last visit on 15 April at 11 pm)

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