The Issue

India has one of the highest pre-trial detainee populations in the world. Nearly two-thirds of the country’s prisoners are ‘undertrials’. These include men and women presumed to be innocent in the eyes of the law but who are in jail for months and even years waiting for the law to take its course. Some have even been detained for periods longer than what a formal conviction would have brought.

In 2012, there were around 385,000 prisoners in various jails in India, of which over 254,000 – more than 66% - were undertrials, according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). In Karnataka, 8940 prisoners – over 68% of the total prison population – were undertrials.

NCRB all India figures reveal that 46.3% of undertrials are between the age group of 18 to 30 years. In Karnataka 53.85% of undertrials are between the age group of 18 to 30 years.

Consequences of excessive undertrial detention and aggravating factors

Excessive undertrial detention not only adversely affects the lives of prisoners and their families, but also leads to overcrowding in prisons, which puts undue pressure on the entire criminal justice system machinery.

Most undertrials have low levels of education and are therefore unlikely to be aware of their legal rights. According to NCRB 2012 figures, nearly 75% of the undertrial population is educated below class ten.

Undertrials are among the most vulnerable sections of the prison population – they are less able to contribute to the preparation of their defence than defendants who remain at liberty, and more likely to face torture and other ill-treatment. Their detention leads to loss of employment, which could cause further economic hardship to them and their families.

In addition excessive undertrial detention wastes public resources. An average of Rs. 22,476.9 of Indian tax payers money is spent as annual expenditure on an inmate.

Another significant consequence of excessive undertrial population is overcrowding of prisons. Prisons in India have an average occupancy rate of 112%. Karnataka has, as in December 2012, an occupancy rate of 100.3%. Overcrowding worsens the conditions in jails, aggravating the lack of adequate sanitation, food and health care. In Karnataka, this has been found to result in undertrials contracting skin diseases, tuberculosis, malaria and other communicable diseases. Congested jails often tend to be chaotic and unsupervised, leaving inmates at a heightened risk of physical and psychological abuse and even torture.

Sources Compiled by : All India Council of Human Rights, Liberties and Social Justice (AICHLS)

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Justice for Undertrials and Reducing Pre-Trial Detention


The Issue

India has one of the highest pre-trial detainee populations in the world. Nearly two-thirds of the country’s prisoners are ‘undertrials’. These include men and women presumed to be innocent in the eyes of the law but who are in jail for months and even years waiting for the law to take its course. Some have even been detained for periods longer than what a formal conviction would have brought.

In 2012, there were around 385,000 prisoners in various jails in India, of which over 254,000 – more than 66% - were undertrials, according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). In Karnataka, 8940 prisoners – over 68% of the total prison population – were undertrials.

NCRB all India figures reveal that 46.3% of undertrials are between the age group of 18 to 30 years. In Karnataka 53.85% of undertrials are between the age group of 18 to 30 years.

Consequences of excessive undertrial detention and aggravating factors

Excessive undertrial detention not only adversely affects the lives of prisoners and their families, but also leads to overcrowding in prisons, which puts undue pressure on the entire criminal justice system machinery.

Most undertrials have low levels of education and are therefore unlikely to be aware of their legal rights. According to NCRB 2012 figures, nearly 75% of the undertrial population is educated below class ten.

Undertrials are among the most vulnerable sections of the prison population – they are less able to contribute to the preparation of their defence than defendants who remain at liberty, and more likely to face torture and other ill-treatment. Their detention leads to loss of employment, which could cause further economic hardship to them and their families.

In addition excessive undertrial detention wastes public resources. An average of Rs. 22,476.9 of Indian tax payers money is spent as annual expenditure on an inmate.

Another significant consequence of excessive undertrial population is overcrowding of prisons. Prisons in India have an average occupancy rate of 112%. Karnataka has, as in December 2012, an occupancy rate of 100.3%. Overcrowding worsens the conditions in jails, aggravating the lack of adequate sanitation, food and health care. In Karnataka, this has been found to result in undertrials contracting skin diseases, tuberculosis, malaria and other communicable diseases. Congested jails often tend to be chaotic and unsupervised, leaving inmates at a heightened risk of physical and psychological abuse and even torture.

Sources Compiled by : All India Council of Human Rights, Liberties and Social Justice (AICHLS)

Suggestions welcome  : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

RAMNAGAR (Mainpuri): She is 46 now and Shiv Kumar Yadav, the man accused of raping a finance executive in an Uber cab in Delhi, used to call her 'chachi' (aunt). But that didn't stop him from dragging her one cold December night a couple of years ago to an empty house in their native Ramnagar village to sexually assault her.

"It was in the same lane that he used to live," the woman told TOI on Thursday, looking for words to articulate her trauma. "Woh mujhe chachi bulata tha. (He used to call me aunt). My husband asked me to remain quiet about the rape as it would bring shame to the family. He stopped me from going out of my house."

She wasn't the only one, it seems, who kept quiet. A TOI team met two others in the village, each with an equally horrifying story of abuse at the hands of Yadav, now in judicial custody. Yadav had raped one more woman, who left Ramnagar unable to deal with the social stigma. That had happened in 2003 and the woman had even filed a case against Yadav.

BENGALURU: Central intelligence agencies are in town after a British news channel tracked down, the operator of one of ISIS's most successful twitter account, Shammi Wintness, to Bengaluru. 

The man they identified as Medhi, works with multinational advertisement firm in the city and lives with his family here. 

This particular twitter handle went on air last year and since then has been posting photos and videos of ISIS aggression. He even posted ISIS updates from the front lines. 

"If I had a chance, I would have left everything and joined them. But my family needs me here," he said to to channel. He also said he is in contact with British Jihadhies and announced he believes in beheading.

City police said they are coordinating with central agencies but believes he must have left the city already.