The Supreme Court on Tuesday formed a Committee on Prison Reforms chaired by former apex court judge, Justice Amitava Roy, to examine the various problems plaguing prisons in the country, from overcrowding to lack of legal advice to convicts to issues of remission and parole.
A Bench of Justices Madan B. Lokur, S. Abdul Nazeer and Deepak Gupta appointed the Inspector General of Police, Bureau of Police Research and Development, and the Director General (Prisons) Tihar Jail as the panel’s members.
The judgment came on a letter from former Chief Justice of India R.C. Lahoti highlighting the overcrowding in prisons, unnatural deaths of prisoners, gross inadequacy of staff and the lack of trained staff.
Justice Lokur however said the Amitava Roy Committee need not confine itself to these four issues but can comprehensively examine and respond to the dire necessity of reforms in prisons.
Issuing a slew of directions, the Bench has directed the committee to examine the extent of overcrowding in prisons and correctional homes and recommend remedial measures, including an examination of the functioning of Under Trial Review Committees, availability of legal aid and advice, grant of remission, parole and furlough.
The panel would also probe the reasons for violence in prisons and correctional homes and recommend preventive measures.