LUCKNOW: To curb indiscipline and irregularities prevailing in UP jails, the state government is now set to levy hefty penalties on the recovery of prohibited items from the possession of inmates or even on jail premises by amending the over a century old Prison Act-1894.
As a part of jail reforms, initially, Section 42 and 43 of the Act would be amended with the provision of a fine of Rs 25,000 on the recovery of any prohibited item from the inmates.
Currently, the penalty amount is just Rs 200 which is much within the range of even small-time criminals serving jail term and indulging in indiscipline and by flouting the norms.
Moreover, post amendment, the sentence of the erring prisoner would be increased by three years if found engaging in any activity against the jail manual.
Section 42 and 43 of the Prison Act-1894 have the provision of a maximum fine of Rs 200 and 6-month imprisonment on the recovery of a prohibited item from the inmates.
The new provisions proposed by DG, Prisons, Anand Kumar, have already got a go-ahead by jail administration in consultation with law department. The proposals are likely to be put up before the state cabinet in the coming days to get its seal so that it could be implemented in near future.
Notably, during the recent raids across a number of district jails, huge cache of cash, weapons, mobile phones, liquor and narcotics from the inmates had red
flagged the condition of prisons raising a finger at jail administration.
In a number of cases, prisoners were found calling the shots and jail officials toeing their line mutely. There had been videos on social media of revelry on jail premises where inmates could be seen boozing, enjoying food from outside, brandishing weapons and using mobile phones with impunity.
Often mafia dons are found conducting the criminal activities while being in prison. To put a leash on such practices, the amended sections will provide for a fine of Rs 50,000 with the additional term if any inmate would be found embroiled in any criminal act done outside the jail on his instructions.
“If a jail official is found helping an inmate with a smartphone or any other prohibited item, then he would be slapped with a fine of Rs 25,000 and three years of jail term,” said a senior official of jail administration.
There is also a provision of three years jail term for visitors. “If anyone is found visiting an inmate by concealing his/her actual identity by using a fake identity proof, they will be subjected to three years jail term,” said the official.