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The Meghalaya High Court has initiated a suo motu PIL regarding the condition of jails in the state.
A Bench of Chief Justice AK Mittal and Justice HS Thangkhiew issued notice to the State of Meghalaya and Union of India in this regard. It also appointed Senior Advocate TT Diengdoh to serve as the Amicus Curiae.
The order was passed after the Court, along with the Registrar-cum-Principal Secretary to the Chief Justice, and protocol officers of the High Court of Meghalaya, had visited the District Jail at Shillong on June 7.
As per the order passed on June 12, the Court found that the conditions of the jail inmates were pathetic. The rooms for accommodation were less than the number of inmates and were very congested and unhygienic.
The order goes on to the note that the condition in the jail is such that it is not easy for a human being to survive.
“On inspection of the jail, conditions of the jail inmates were found to be very pathetic. The ratio of accommodation and number of jail inmates were found to be totally unmatched. The manner in which they were kept at the rooms found to be so congested and unhygienic to be able to survive for a human being.”
Accordingly, a note was prepared by the Registrar-cum-Principal Secretary to the Chief Justice, whereupon it was directed to be treated as Public Interest Litigation (PIL).
The Court proceeded to issue notice to the State of Meghalaya through the Additional Chief Secretary to the Government of Meghalaya, the Home (Police) Department, the Commissioner and Secretary Law Department, the Commissioner and Secretary Prisons Department, the Director General of Prison and Union of India through the Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Senior GA K Khan, accepted notice on behalf of the State of Meghalaya and Central Government Counsel K Paul accepted notice on behalf of Union of India.
The case will now be heard on June 28.