Chief Justice of J&K High Court Justice Gita Mittal, on Saturday made her maiden visit to Central Jail Srinagar where she inspected various arrangements related to diet, health, hygiene, sanitation, prisoners’ barracks, vocational training and medical facilities put in place for inmates.
The Chief Justice was received by DGP Prisons V K Singh and was presented with a Guard of Honour.
She took a round of the Jail premises and interacted with the Jail inmates. The Chief Justice was accompanied by A.R. Malik, Principal District & Sessions Judge Srinagar and Jawad Ahmad, Principal Secretary to Chief Justice. Dr. M.S. Lone, DIG Prisons, Shalender, DIG (North) CRPF, T.R. Katoch, Sr. Superintendent, Central Jail Srinagar and senior officers of the Prisons Department and CRPF were also present on the occasion.
The Chief Justice in her address said that the aim of Judiciary is to provide legal aid services to all inmates. She emphasized that there is a need to generate awareness among the inmates about their rights and it is the responsibility of the judiciary to ensure that the inmates are not deprived of their rights. She said efforts are being made to link the courts with the Jails for trial purpose.
Speaking on the occasion, the DGP Prisons informed the Chief Justice that there are 3394 inmates in the J&K prisons which include 137 female inmates. He said that out of the sanctioned strength of 1581 posts, presently 911 are filled while as 670 posts are vacant which include nine doctors and 30 Para-Medics. He briefed the Chief Justice about the facilities available in the prisons and steps being taken for the reformation of inmates. He informed that vocational trainings in trades like Carpentry, Electrician, Cutting and Tailoring, Crewel work, Computers and Paper Machie are being imparted in the Jail.
Besides sports, cultural activities and library, television sets have been provided in all barracks for the recreation of inmates. He apprised the Chief Justice about the e-Prisons Management System in which data of prisoners is computerized and shared on a National Portal. The DGP said that steps are being taken to modernize the interview rooms and to further streamline interview procedure in the Jails. He also talked about the ongoing e-Courts project and new Jail Manual which is in the final stage.
During interaction with inmates, the Chief Justice took note of the grievances of inmates like non-availability of police escort and shortage of medical/para-medical staff. The inmates also requested for their speedy trial. The inmates expressed their gratitude to the Chief Justice for visiting the Jail. She also inaugurated the Administrative Block during her visit. An official statement said this was for the first time that any Chief Justice of High Court of J&K visited the Central Jail Srinagar.