Srinagar: Executive Chairman J&K Legal Services Authority, Justice Ali Muhammad Magrey Tuesday chaired a high-level meeting to discuss ensuring that the undertrials and convicts were not denied basic fundamental rights, while they were in custody.
An official spokesman in a statement issued here said that the meeting was attended by Additional Chief Secretary Home R K Goyal, DG Prisons H K Lohia, Principal Secretary Estates Department Alok Kumar, Secretary Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Achal Sethi, and Member Secretary J&KLSA M K Sharma.
During the meeting, Goyal apprised Justice Magrey about the existing facilities available for the detainees in different prisons of J&K and the improvements made in the near past.
It was informed that against the sanctioned capacity of 3629 in 14 jails of J&K there were 5148 inmates and the average occupancy rate of prisons in J&K is 142 percent.
It was informed that the government was considering raising infrastructure to ensure decongestion in jails.
Justice Magrey was further informed that in the year 2022, a total of 425 e-mulakats were held between the inmates and their relatives.
Regarding the shifting of the office of J&KLSA to some appropriate place, it was resolved that as and when the office of the Transport Commissioner was vacated after shifting to the new building, the Estates Department should initiate the process of allotment of this office space for the office of J&K LSA.
The agenda of the meeting was Access to Justice for persons in custody and detention, review of prison population and overcrowding thereof, and Counselling and Rehabilitation of the prisoners.
It was resolved that the government should make all the endeavours to provide quality food, proper medical care, and appropriate space in the jails for legal aid clinics so that the detainees are not deprived of legal assistance.
Justice Magrey was informed that five IGNOU study centres were functional in five jails while it was also resolved that IGNOU study centres would be established in the remaining jails too.
Justice Magrey while directing the officers to provide all the basic facilities to jail inmates emphasised that the prisoner does not cease to be a human being while in jail and he was entitled to all the fundamental rights.
Justice Magrey also impressed upon the participating members to increase the frequency of counselling of the prisoners and ensure their proper rehabilitation after they were released from prison.