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Life of an accused inside a prison in India

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The life of a prisoner is better than the life of an accused. Wondering why we are saying like that. Then you have to read this blog. By the end of 2014, there were 39,198 under-trial prisoners who were waiting for the hearing for more than 2-3 years of detention.

SOURCE: http://ncrb.nic.in/StatPublications/PSI/Prison2014/TABLE-6.1.pdf

It is estimated that more than 280,000 people are languishing in 1,387 jails across the country, constituting almost two-thirds of India’s total prison population. There are nearly 18,000 cases pending for more than three years of which 80% cases are concentrated in seven states.

SOURCE: http://ncrb.gov.in/StatPublications/PSI/Prison2014/Snapshots-2014.pdf

According to National Crime Records Bureau at the end of 2014, a maximum number of 34.8% under trails were detained for up to 3 months. Nearly 1.3% of under trials which means nearly 3540 persons were detained for more than 5 years. In this Uttar Pradesh ranks highest with 1022 prisoners followed by Rajasthan with 522 persons. This tells the failure in the delivery of justice.

The accused go through a mental torture by other inmates along with physical abuse. One cannot imagine what they are going through.

The jails are filled with Murderers, Rapists, Cannabis suckers, drug dealers and others. Some groups and gangs will influence the prison and take away the money your family gives you; some take away your clothes and many other stories of jail are even dreadful to hear.

In every three, two persons incarcerated in India have not been convicted of any crime. As per the new data, Muslims are over-represented among such trials.

Khan of 33 years accused of being involved in several bomb blasts that took place in Delhi. He spent nearly ten years in Tihar. He says that “There is one model jail in Tihar which shown to the media and visiting VIPs. Life beyond this model prison is very different.”

If we consider Tihar’s prison, it compromises nine prisons which spread over 400 acres for 5,500 prisoners. But it has more than 10,500 inmates who are double of its capacity.

A report says that Depression and Hopelessness seen common psychological problems observed in the patients which drive them to death. Hopelessness is the primary factor which leads them to suicide. Those jails filled with murderers, drug traffickers. Some of them are yet to be proven guilty of committing the most serious crimes. Some of them are worst of the worst.

Nearly 75 percent of all prisoners which include women, men and also children are awaiting trial or undergoing trial. Many have epilepsy, HIV, tuberculosis and some may have open wounds. These are only a few to name. In real the condition will be even worse.

It’s hard for a person who is under trial, and he will be kept in jail for years before judgment.

If the person is innocent of the crime, then we can imagine what kind of emotional torture he will be suffering while being in jail.
The convicts have a daily routine followed by their relaxation based on their work routine. But it is different with people who are under trials; they have only fixed hour for free life.

Life of an Under Trial prisoner:
The accused prisoner is allowed to sleep in the award which is filled with 40 -100 persons. They are asked to come from their award at unlocking hours starting with the sunrise. For one hour they may indulge in their daily chores, and after that, they are offered tea and breakfast.

They unlock the prisoners only for lunch, dinner and a sports/ phone time for 2 hours. The rest of the day the jail authorities lock them in their ward. In a case of emergencies and outside hospitals, they will be allowed to go out in armed protection.

Every ward or dormitory has its toilet, washroom and drinking water. Convicts have a little bit of flexibility when compared to under trial ones. They have outside work and responsibilities such as cooking, cleaning and manufacturing commercial goods. They also indulge in cultural activities like singing, drama, and other activities. Not only this, they have a facility of the gym and playground to take care of the body. All these things are done inside the jail. They get locked only at night time that too after 8 PM. This is the daily routine of an under trial prisoner in Indian jails.

In many countries including India, the police, and prison authorities contain dominant position, and they tend to take a bride from people. The government has provided some rights for the individuals who are under trial. But the police and other higher authority people tend to abuse the rights of the arrestees, accused and under trial prisoners.

There is popularly saying in India, which is “Angrezo ke zamane ka jailer” which means the dictatorship and it is still practiced. Even after independence and many changes in the society, the police remain unaffected from their old and traditional attitude.
The Constitution of India has secured the rights of the accused, prisoners, convicts, arrestees and convicts. Our Judicial system fails to provide the justice to a speedy and fair way.

Even after 65 years of independence, no genuine efforts made to humanise prison houses and change the anti-social and anti-national criminals.

According to a survey, there are nine major problems in jail reforms and an immediate action should be taken against them. Some of them are lengthy trail and delay in appeal, Overcrowding of prison, neglecting in health issues and hygiene and skimpy clothing and food.

Many innocent people suffered a lot in jail. They lost everything because of the accusation. Some lost their family, business, and homes during this trial period.

Even after their release from jail, they will not get a suitable job or a place to stay as no one will rent their house for a person who stayed in prison for years. Think about the mental torture and emotional pressure the family goes through. It is sobering for the family.

The only reason for this is our judicial system which takes years and years to give judgment for a single case.
Many Indians treat a person as a prisoner if he goes jail for just one day. He is considered as a criminal, even though the guilt is not proved.

Granted it is our strong desire to keep our community clean from every harmful element and proper justice for the victim. At the same time, we have every mean to change our views while not neglecting the value of a person. People should change their perception that prisoners are dangerous to society and they will never change in their lifetime. The discrimination between them and us need to eradicate.

Last but not the least; the judicial system needs a proper tracking and speedy process. Establishment of rehabilitation centers, proper administration, is a must.

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