//Massive overcrowding in jails: NHRC

Massive overcrowding in jails: NHRC

[ Sunday, March 19, 2006 10:29:16 am PTI ]

 NEW DELHI: Jails in various parts of the country are plagued with the problem of overcrowding with a total prison population of 3,24,852 against authorised capacity of 2,34,462, an NHRC report said.

The National Human Rights Commission in its annual report for 2003-04 tabled in Parliament recently states there is an overcrowding of 38.5 per cent, which is substantially higher than 32.33 per cent figure as on December 31, 2001.

Twelve states and Union Territories (UTs) — Delhi, Jharkhand, Haryana, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Sikkim, Gujarat, Orissa, Tripura and Andaman and Nicobar — experienced overcrowding in jails and it was higher than the national average, ranging from 40 per cent to 231 per cent.

Delhi remains at the top with an overcrowding of 231 per cent, followed by Jharkhand (155 per cent) and Chhattisgarh (125 per cent).

Six states and five UTs — Manipur, Jammu and Kashmir, Nagaland, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Kerala, Daman and Diu, Lakshdweep, Chandigarh, Dadar and Nagar Haveli and Pondicherry — do not face the problem of overcrowding in jails.

The Commission observed the overcrowding was a result of "unnecessary and unjustified arrests" coupled with slow judicial process.