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CAG ticks of Govt. on condition of jails

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`Against a capacity of 5,698 inmates, there were 13,090 prisoners in the jails'

New Delhi: There is a gross overcrowding in the Tihar and Rohini jails in Delhi, ranging from 149 per cent to 230 per cent, reveals a performance audit of the management of jails in Delhi from 2000 to 2005.

As against the jail capacity of 5,698 inmates, there were 13,090 prisoners in the jails, which created problems of cleanliness and hygiene which were not in consonance with the objectives of the Prisons Act of ensuring standards consistent with the maintenance of individual dignity, says the audit, prepared by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India as part of its report on the functioning of the Delhi Government.

Despite acute overcrowding, there were delays in finalising proposals for construction of new jails by the department and in actual construction of new blocks accentuated by further delay on the part of the department in taking over the new blocks after their construction.

For instance, a new jail at Mandoli was yet to be established even though the land had been acquired for the purpose in 1981 despite expenditure of Rs 1.51 crore on earth filling and consultancy fees having been incurred, the report said.

The audit also pointed out that despite a huge expenditure on security, control over entry of prohibited items seemed to be inadequate with 363 incidents of discovery of prohibited items every year. Also, the weapons in the armoury of the jail were obsolete and the security staff posted at the gate were not equipped with any instrument to detect explosives, the report added.

The report said despite the existence of a fairly well equipped hospital within the jail premises, 884 prisoners were referred to outside hospitals even for common ailments entailing avoidable costs as well as risks. -- UNI

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