Undertrial review panel's functioning needs fine-tuning: Supreme Court
November 1, 2017

The Supreme Court, while hearing the case of inhuman conditions of prisoners in the country, said that jail officials must be made part of the undertrial review committees (UTRCs) in the states and a standard operating procedure in this regard should be put in place.

The court directed that jail superintendents should be a part of the UTRC (undertrial review committees) meetings, and therefore prison authorities must be involved in the process.

The Supreme Court observed while hearing the case of inhuman conditions prevailing in 1,382 prisons across the country.

The bench, however, expected that the state governments and the authorities would take care the issues, by keeping in mind that it pertains to human rights which must be given priority.

The Apex court also said that the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) would continue to deal with cases, including the natural or unnatural deaths of the prisoner.

Background:

Earlier the court termed the situation as unacceptable with the fact that a large number of people suffering in jails in "complete violation" of their rights despite proposals for their release by the legal services authority.

On 15th September, the court ruling came on the issue of custodial deaths and said that such incidents point out to the "apparent disdain" of the State to the life and liberty of prisoners.

It had also passed a slew of directions over unnatural deaths and on prison reforms across India.

About Undertrial Review Committees

A UTRC, set up in every district, deliberates and recommends the release of undertrial prisoners and convicts who have undergone their sentence or are entitled to be released from jail due to bail or remission granted to them.