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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

SC issues notice to Centre & 11 states over alleged caste-based discrimination in prisons

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 The Supreme Court Wednesday issued notice to the Union Government and Eleven states on a petition alleging that prison manual in these states encourage caste-based discrimination among the inmates.

A bench comprising Chief Justice of India Dr DY Chandrachud, Justice JB Pardhiwala and Justice Manoj Mishra while issuing the notice to the central government and eleven states asked the Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to assist the court in this sensitive issue.

The notice was sent to Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Madya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Punjab, Odhisa, Jharkhand, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.

The petition was filed by journalist Sukanya Shantha saying that caste based discrimination persists in prison barracks and extends to manual labour assignments effecting the denotified tribes and those prisoners which are categorized at habitual offenders.

Senior advocate Mr S Muralidhar, appearing for the petitioner alleged that there have been instances where Dalits were confined to separate prisons from the other prisoners.

Mr Murlidhar sought to repeal such discriminatory laws found in the various state prison manuals.”

The inmates face such discrimination as soon as they enter the prison Mr Murlidhar ( who was earlier the High Court Judge) said.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said this is a very serious issue and is unacceptable. The government will look into it. There is a need of joint effort in tackling the issue.

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