NEW DELHI: Delhi High Court expressed displeasure and pulled up the Tihar jail authorities for not taking necessary steps to ensure immediate release of women undertrials, who have already undergone detention for half the term of imprisonment for their alleged offence.
"Out of 662 inmates in central jail No.6 of Tihar, there are 47 inmates who are entitled to benefit under section 436A of the CrPC immediately. "We are surprised why the jail authorities are not taking necessary steps. Direction of this court is not needed. It is not necessary as it comes under the order of Supreme Court," a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath said.
The court's oral observation came after it was informed by the counsel representing Delhi Prisons which comes under the Delhi government, that Tihar Jail was "overcrowded" as it was housing more than twice the number of inmates it can accommodate.
The counsel also submitted that as per the data available to them till July 10, there were 622 inmates in jail No.6 against the original strength of 450. "Out of 622, 463 are undertrials prisoners, whereas there are only 159 convicts. Out of this 47 inmates are those who are entitled to get benefit under section 436A of the CrPC," the counsel for Delhi government said.
He also said there are 105 women inmates involved in non- heinous offences who could be released, besides there were eight pregnant women, 13 above 65-year-old and 28 women prisoners who are staying with their kids.
There were as much as 81 per cent of women inmates till December 2014, who were behind the bars from last two years. To this, the court asked why were they not being produced before the Magistrate from where they can get the relief immediately.
The Delhi government's counsel responded saying without court's order they cannot be released. The court said "We have to implement the mandate of the Supreme Court and allow it to reach its logical end. The main principle can be applied in pursuant to the Supreme Court's order."