Delhi HC notice on PIL against acute shortage of staff in jails

Delhi


New Delhi, April 20 : The Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued notice on a plea seeking direction to fill vacancies of medical officers, paramedical staff, welfare officers, counsellors, teachers, yoga instructors, vocational counsellors and other staffers in jails in the national capital. A division bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Navin Chawla while hearing the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by activist-advocate Amit Sahni, noted that the situation appears to be a grave deficiency. Issuing notice to the respondents--Delhi Govt and DG Prisons, the court directed the city government to file a status report regarding sanctioned strength and pending vacancies. In the meanwhile, the court has also directed the respondents to initiate the process of recruitment of pending vacancies. The matter will now be considered in July. In the plea, petitioner Sahni said there is an acute shortage of prison staff and particularly all posts of educational, correctional staff, psychiatric social workers, and psychologists are lying vacant for a long. Delhi Prisons are facing a 20.25 per cent staff shortage, the plea said, contending that the Supreme Court and the High Court have taken a serious view of the pending vacancies in jail staff. The plea contended that the shortage of prison staff is a reason for inadequate management of Delhi jails and many times the same leads to violence upon the errant inmates by the jail staff. It also stated that Rule 81 of the Delhi Prison Rule 2018 is not complied with in Delhi Jails, which provides that in principle, there should be one guarding staff for every six prisoners. There are about 18,000 prisoners lodged in jails and the requirement of guarding staff is 3,000 into 3 (for three shifts) but the jails have an acute shortage of the guarding staff and the same results in hindrance in prison administration. /IANS




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