Tihar ‘sampark sabha’ highlights lack of legal help to inmates

Tihar Jail lodges 13,552 inmates. Of these, a whopping 10,154 or 74.93 % are undertrials

Updated - May 21, 2016 12:11 pm IST

Published - April 19, 2014 09:28 am IST - NEW DELHI:

A recent interactive meeting between Tihar Jail officials and inmates lodged there has once again highlighted the problem of lack of legal help to the inmates lodged in the prison complex.

The Jail authorities had recently organised a ‘sampark sabha’ to address the problems of the inmates and during the interaction the officials found out that lack of legal help was the main issue of discontent for most of the prisoners.

Better facilities sought

“As a part of the initiative, Director General (Prisons) Vimla Mehra met the inmates lodged in the main Tihar Jail and Rohini Jail and asked them about their problems. Many inmates, whose cases were through from the trial court, said that they do not get to interact with High Court lawyers or Supreme Court lawyers inside the jail. Some other undertrials said that they do not get proper legal advice inside the Jail,” said Sunil Gupta, Tihar spokesperson.

“Some at Rohini jail wanted better sports facilities while others asked for gardening facilities inside the jail. Most of them, however, were troubled by lack of legal facilities,” said Mr. Gupta.

“We have already roped in the Delhi Legal Services Authority (DLSA) that provides free legal counselling to the inmates but it is not frequent currently. We are now planning to improve the facility by arranging frequent interaction between the DLSA and the inmates,” Mr. Gupta added.

Tihar Jail currently lodges 13,552 inmates, more than double the sanctioned capacity of 6,250. Out of the total number of prisoners, a whopping 10,154 (74.93 per cent) of inmates are under-trials. Last year, 8,887 prisoners (constituting 73.37 per cent) out of 12,113 were under-trials.

In March this year, the authorities had made the announcement to identify those prisoners who have served their term but are still lodged in the complex.

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