Court lays down directions for the provision of separate lock-ups for female prisoners

Madras High Court: Addressing the issue of providing separate lock-ups for women prisoners complete with all the basic amenities, the division Bench of S.K. Kaul, C.J. and M. Sathyanarayanan, J. laid down certain directions to the authorities concerned to monitor the issue and ensure the provision of separate prison cells.

The instant matter arose in form of two writ petitions praying before the Court to direct the respondents to implement the recommendations of the Board of Visitors constituted on the report of the All India Committee on Prison Reforms by providing separate lockup rooms for woman prisoners in general and in Villupuram District in particular, with all the basic amenities like sanitation and ventilation etc. and submit a compliance report in this regard. The respondents represented by S.T.S Moorthy and Sudha Ramalingam submitted before the Court that the State is committed towards prison reforms but still certain issues have not addressed. The petitioners were represented by P.K Rajagopal.

Perusing the submissions and taking the compliance report on record, the Court laid down following directions with respect to the issue:

  • The Tamilnadu State Legal Services Authority (TNSLSA) along with the Court Commissioner continuously monitor the prisons to ensure that reforms have been undertaken
  • TNSLSA would also file a tri-monthly periodic progress report till such time the Court is satisfied that monitoring is not necessary.
  • TNSLSA may examine the issue of requiring a Visitor’s Panel for every district.

The Registrar General v. Secretary to Govt. of Tamilnadu, 2014 SCC OnLine Mad 7422, decided on 28.10.2014

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