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'Inhuman conditions in prisons': DLCs to assess current capacity of existing jails in J&K

Will formulate proposals as per Model Prison manual SC in February ordered all states, UTs to constitute committee in each district to take specified measures
09:45 AM Apr 23, 2024 IST | GK NEWS SERVICE
 inhuman conditions in prisons   dlcs to assess current capacity of existing jails in j k
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Jammu, Apr 22: J&K government has constituted District Level Committees (DLCs) for taking measures to improve the conditions of prisons in the Union Territory.

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These committees have been constituted in compliance with an order of the Supreme Court of India dated February 3, 2024, passed in Writ Petition (Civil) No 406/2013 RE-Inhuman Conditions in 1382 prisons. The apex court had issued directions to all states and UTs to constitute a committee at the district level with a specified mandate.

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Every DLC will comprise Principal or District Judge (chairperson of the District Legal Services Authority) as its chairman while District Magistrate concerned; Senior Superintendent of Police or Superintendent of Police and Superintendent of Jail will be its members. Secretary, District Legal Services Authority will be convener of DLC.

As per the terms of reference, these DLCs will assess the available infrastructure and current capacity of existing jails and assess the requirement of constructing more jails in the district, or enhancing the capacity of existing jails to meet the standards laid down in the Model Prison Manual, 2016.

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The committees have also been tasked to consider the implementation of steps required for incorporating Artificial Intelligence and introducing video conferencing for conducting ‘Mulakaats’ and telemedicine facilities, for the ease of the inmates. They will also initiate steps to examine the requirement of expanding the existing jails and acquiring land to set up new jails within the district, depending on the current capacity, occupancy and future demands of the district and come up with firm proposals.

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As per their terms of reference, DLCs will seek and monitor the status of all the ongoing projects or proposals that are pending in the districts and ensure that milestones are set down for completing the ongoing projects. Wherever a project has yet to take off for want of land, they will take steps to identify land for acquisition and table the report before the Chief Secretary for obtaining necessary approvals and fast-tracking the process.

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To examine the needs of the districts and formulate proposals over and above those laid down in the Model Prison Manual will also be their area of responsibility.

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“However, the minimum requirements prescribed under the said manual shall not be compromised. Future projections shall span for at least 50 years for implementation,” it has been instructed.

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