Delhi HC asks ‘Why no open-jail provision for women prisoners?’
The Delhi High Court questioned the AAP government on the discrimination against women prisoners in Tihar Jail. It sought answers from Delhi government, Lieutenant Governor and Director General on why women prisoners don’t have semi-open and open prisons like male prisoners.
“Why are you denying this to women prisoners? This is very bad. What you are doing is a stereotypical approach. People should have option, why should you discriminate,” a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said as per Indian Express reports. She listed the matter for hearing November 15.
Advocate Sunil Gupta, former legal adviser of Tihar Jail filed the PIL. It also seeks to revoke the current prison rule. Filed a petition through advocate Amit Khemka, he proposes time-bound special semi-open prison and open prison for both genders.
“There is virtually no justification for this inhuman, discriminatory, arbitrary and ridiculous categorization.”
In a semi-open or open prison the prisoners can go out and work during the day and then come back to jail in evening. Many jail authorities across the country have this rule as it allows the convicts to interact with the society and earn a livelihood. It also helps ease the psychological trauma of the convicts.
Also, the petition states that the rule shows gender-bias without specifying any reasons.
“The provision (in guidelines for treatment of convicts in Delhi Prisons) clearly demonstrates the fallacy as it treats ‘women convicts’ in the same category as ‘dangerous or habitual male prisoners’. There is virtually no justification for this inhuman, discriminatory, arbitrary and ridiculous categorization,” it said.
It also indicates that the rule violates the fundamental right of equality. Furthermore, the petitioners said that Maharashtra’s Yerwada jail and one of Rajasthan’s prisons have semi-open prison for women.
Picture credit- NDTV