The Apex Court bench headed by Chief Justice RM Lodha said that judicial officers of the districts will visit the jails under their jurisdiction once a week to look into such cases and order the release of such undertrial prisoners.

The court said that two months' drive, starting from October 1st, will see a sessions judge and judicial officers subordinate to him visiting the jails under their jurisdiction to examine such cases and ordering the undertrials' release.

Ordering the next date of hearing of the case on December 8th, the court said that on the completion of the two-month exercise, the Registrar Generals of the High Courts will send the report on the exercise and undertrial prisoners released to the Secretary General of the Supreme Court.

Expressing concern over a poor budgetary allocation, the SC asked the Centre to grant more funds to create a better infrastructure.

 

Highlights
SC orders to release undertrial prisoners who have already spent half of terms
Judicial officers to visit jails
Next date of hearing of case on December 8th
SC asks Centre to create more funds for judicial infrastructure
31,000 ST and SC undertrial prisoners
2.5 lakh prisoners have spent years in jail without being convicted

Last month a bench comprising Chief Justice R M Lodha and justices Kurian Joseph and R F Nariman said, "This is a very serious matter. There are over 31,000 Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Scheduled Caste (SC) undertrial prisoners. This is the obligation of states and every state has to take care of undertrial prisoners."

Advocate K R Chitra said that ST undertrials are languishing in various jails for a very long period without any trial and as a result, unrest and hostilities are prevailing in Tribal areas of the country.

Of nearly four lakh prisoners across the country, nearly two-thirds, or 2.5 lakh, have spent years in jail without being convicted because of prolonged trials in India's notoriously slow justice system.

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