Writ Petition (PIL) No. 27 of 2016. Case: Surendra Singh Sandhu Vs State of Uttarakhand and Ors.. Uttarakhand High Court

Case NumberWrit Petition (PIL) No. 27 of 2016
CounselFor Appellant: Lalit Sharma, Advocate and For Respondents: S.S. Chauhan, Dy. Advocate General
JudgesRajiv Sharma and Sudhanshu Dhulia, JJ.
IssueConstitution of India - Articles 14, 19, 21, 226, 32; Prisons Act, 1894 - Sections 27(2), 29, 30, 56, 61
Judgement DateJanuary 10, 2017
CourtUttarakhand High Court


Rajiv Sharma, J.

1. The petitioner is a permanent resident of Amrit Saria Farm, Manpur Ojha, Bilaspur. He is a social activist. He had served as Block Pramukh for five years. He has filed present petition in pro bono publico seeking to preserve, protect, improve and restore the original form of Sampurnanand Shivir (Central Jail) situated in Sitarganj, District Udham Singh Nagar. The prison provides the prisoners' opportunities of employment, living a life in the open air, restore their dignity and develop self reliance, self confidence and social responsibility for rehabilitation of the convict in the society. According to him, a major chunk of land belonging to Central Jail has already been acquired by the State Government and distributed to some individuals and remaining land has been distributed to Government undertakings. According to the record, in the Sampurnanand Shivir (Central Jail), Sitarganj, as many as 14911 prisoners were shifted till April, 2005. Out of which, 14281 were released after completion of the period of imprisonment. The prisoners were found with improved humanitarian attitude and they were also skilled and self defendant. The facilities available in the Shivir are - (a) one day remission, (b) staying with family for a short time and (c) home leave.

2. Earlier, the jail was having a large chunk of land measuring about 5965 acre, having a diameter of about 25 Kms. 235 acre of land was covered by the forest and by the efflux of time, area of Shivir was reduced to only 640 acre. As per details supplied to the petitioner under Right to Information Act, State Government had already transferred 5325.92 acres land, out of total 5965 acres. According to the petitioner, State Government is making undue inference in day-to-day functioning of the Sampurnanand Shivir (Central Jail). The very purpose for establishing the open jail is going to be frustrated as State Government is distributing the lands to some individuals and government undertaking, company etc.

3. According to information placed on record, only 130 acres land is suitable for agriculture and remaining 510 acres land is occupied by the rivers, drainages, residential houses, road, bushes, trees etc. Petitioner has also placed on record the photographs. According to the visual impression of the photographs, the condition of the building is dilapidated.

4. The petitioner has prayed for the following relief:-

1. A writ, order, or direction in the nature of mandamus commanding the Respondents to preserve, protect, improve and restore the original form of Sampurnanand Shivir (Central Jail) situated in Sitarganj of District Udham Singh Nagar.

2. A writ, order or direction in the nature of mandamus commanding the Respondents not to transfer the land of Sampurnanand Shivir (Central Jail) situated in Sitarganj of District Udham Singh Nagar to any other departments, companies or individuals etc. and to ensure that the noble object of establishing the Shivir is achieved.

3. A writ, order or direction in the nature of mandamus commanding the Respondents not to curtail the facilities being provided to the prisoners of Sampurnanand Shivir (Central Jail) situated in Sitarganj who are detailed under reformative scheme.

4. Any other order or direction which this Hon'ble Court may deem fit and proper under the facts and circumstances of the case.

5. Award cost of the petition to the present petitioner.

5. Inspite of opportunities given to the State, the counter affidavit has not been filed.

6. According to the notification issued by State of U.P., the jail manual of Uttar Pradesh was to be followed with certain modifications for Central Jail, Sitarganj. State Government has not filed any affidavit even in compliance of order dated 11.07.2016.

7. The Sampurnanand Shivir (Central Jail) was established on 16.02.1960. The total land of Sampurnanand Shivir (Central Jail) was 5965 acres. The same has been reduced to only 640 acres. 130 acres land is cultivable suitable for agriculture and remaining land is being used for the construction of residential houses, road etc. Till Aril, 2005, 14911 prisoners were shifted in the Sampurnanand Shivir (Central Jail). Prisoners were sent to Open Air Jail on the basis of their behaviour and conduct during the imprisonment in jail. The purpose of said Open Air Jail is to give opportunity to prisoners to make them self-dependent after their release from the jail.

8. Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs has prepared Model Prison Manual, 2016. The objective of open institutions is mentioned in para 23.01. According to this para, all open and semi-open institutions are intended to put into practice the contemporary ideology of reformation, correction and rehabilitation of convicted prisoners so that they may lead a self-disciplined and cultured life after their release. This restores dignity of the individual and develops in him/her self confidence and social responsibility.

9. According to the para 23.03, the below mentioned categories of prisoners shall not be eligible for transfer to any of the open institutions.

(a) Offenders classified as habitual, provided they have not earned a higher grade in the proposed progressive system.

(b) Prisoners who are considered dangerous or are involved in serious prison violence like assault, outbreak, riot, mutiny or escape, or who have been found instigating serious violation of prison discipline.

(c) Prisoners convicted for offences such as dacoity, terrorist crimes, kidnapping, and smuggling including those convicted under NDPS Act, foreigners, escape risks and members of organised criminal gangs.

(d) Prisoners committed for failure to give security for maintaining peace or good behaviour.

(e) Prisoners suffering from mental illness.

(f) Prisoners convicted of offences against any law relating to matters to which the executive power of the Union Government extends, unless approved by the Union Government.

(g) Convicts in POCSO case.

(h) Prisoners whose transfer is likely to have repercussions elsewhere in the country.

(i) Facing trial in other cases.

(j) Prisoners who have been transferred from an Open Prison to a Closed Prison.

10. According to the para 23.03.01, for the purpose of selecting prisoners for confinement in any Open Prison, the Selection/Classification Committee is required to be constituted consisting of the Deputy Inspector General of Police (Prisons), the Superintendent of the Prisoners, Medical Officer of the concerned prison and Rehabilitation Officer. The committee is required to submit the same to the Head of the Prisons for his orders.

11. As per para 23.03.2, the Selection Committee is required to screen the case of each casual prisoner on the following points before recommending them for transfer to an open institution:-

(a) Physical fitness and mental health required for living in a semi-open or open institution.

(b) Behaviour and conduct in the prison.

(c) Number of paroles availed and his conduct during that period.

(d) Progress in work vocational training and education.

(e) Group adjustability.

(f) Character and self-discipline.

(g) Verification of his address/relatives.

(h) Extent of institutional impact (Whether the inmate has reached peak points of training and treatment).

(i) Whether the inmate can be further helped in the institution. Whether he will benefit by training and treatment in Semi-open or Open Institutions.

(j) Whether the inmate is getting institutionalized.

(k) Sense of responsibility

12. Para Nos. 23.12 to 23.23 deal with the transfer to open colony read as under:-

23.12. On completion of seven years' of imprisonment in case of a life convict, or in the case of a convict sentenced to seven years of imprisonment or more after the convict having undergone half of the sentence, excluding remission as a convict, the Selection/Classification Committee shall examine the inmate's case for being transferred to an Open Colony. If there is no Semi-open or Open Institution in the State, a prisoner may be transferred directly to an Open Colony after completion of 10 years stay in a closed Institution with remission in case of a life convict, or on completion of three-forth of the sentence in the case of other convicts. If the Selection/Classification Committee is satisfied that the inmate is fit for a transfer to an Open Colony, a report in the prescribed form, along with the inmate's case file, should be forwarded to the Inspector General. On receipt of sanction from the Inspector General of Prisons the inmate should be transferred to an Open Colony.

23.13. Inmates should initially be treated in Semi-open Institutions and then in Open Institutions. Transfer to an Open Colony should be made only after ensuring that the inmate has satisfactorily responded to the treatment in Semi-open and Open Institutions. These transfers should be done on a highly selective basis. Care should be taken to see that selection for treatment in an Open Colony does not become reutilized and mechanical.

23.14. Before being transferred to an Open Work Camp/Semi-open or Open Institutions/Open Colony, the inmate should be informed about the requirements and responsibilities of living in the new institution. On admission at these institutions, the inmate should be kept in the reception yard under observation. During this period he should be further oriented to institutional standards of behavior and other requirements of institutional life.

23.15. The conditions which an inmate shall have to observe at these places should be laid down. Before being transferred to these institutions the inmate will be required to sign a bond prescribed by the Inspector General.

23.16. Minimum standards, as prescribed for the Closed Institutions, regarding accommodation, equipment, sanitation, hygiene, medical services, diet and welfare services, shall be maintained at each Semi-open Training Institution, Open Training Institution, Open Work Camp and Open...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT