Supreme Court Guidelines

Supreme Court Guidelines regarding Treatment of prisoners Sunil Batra v. Delhi Administration, AIR 1980 SC 1579: (1980) 3 SCC 488

1. The State shall take early steps to prepare a Hindi, a Prisoner’s Handbook and circulate copies to bring legal awareness home to the inmates. Periodical jail bulletins stating how improvements and habilitative programmes are brought into the prison may crease a fellowship which will ease tensions. A prisoner’s wall paper, which will freely ventilate grievances will also reduce stress. All these are implementary of section 61 of the Prisons Act.

2. The State shall take steps to keep up to the Standard Minimum Rules for Treatment of Prisoners recommended by the United Nations, especially those relating to work and wages, treatment with dignity, community contact and correctional strategies. In this latter aspect the observations we have made of holistic development of personality shall be kept in view.

3. The Prisons Act, needs rehabilitation and the Prison Manual total overhaul, even the Model Manual being out of focus with healing goals. A correctional-cum-orientation course is necessitous for the prison staff inculcating the constitutional values, therapeutic approaches and tension-free management.

4. The prisoners’ rights shall be protected by the court by its writ jurisdiction plus contempt power. To make this jurisdiction viable, free legal services to the prisoner programmes shall be promoted by professional organisations recognised by the Court such as e.g., Free Legal Aid (Supreme Court) Society. The District Bar shall, keep a cell for prisoner relief.

Source: M A Rashid, Supreme Court Guidelines and Precedents, Universal Law Publishing

Leave a Comment