Safeguarding Prisoners’ Rights in India
INTRODUCTION: Prison justice is a sort of solemn covenant running with the power of the Court to sentence the accused. Heights when challenging situations arise. Prison justice implies Court's continuing duty and authority to ensure that the judicial warrant which deprives a person of his life or liberty is not exceeded. Where a prison practice or internal instruction places harsh restrictions on jail life, breaching guaranteed rights, the Court directly comes in. Every prison sentence is a conditioned deprivation of life and liberty. Judicial policy of prison practices is implied in the sentencing power. The Criminal judiciary has thus a duty to guardian their sentences and visit prisons when necessary.
Fundamental Rights of Prisoner:-Whether the prisoners can invoke their constitutional rights under Part III of the Constitution- Can Prison justice is correlated with most coveted rights under Art. 21 of the Constitution? Prisoners retain all rights enjoyed by free citizens except those lost necessarily as an incident of confinement. Rights enjoyed by prisoners under Arts 14, 19 and 21 though limited are not static and will rise to human heights when challenging situations arise. The penological goals which may be regarded as reasonable justification for restricting
the right to move freely within the confines of a penitentiary is now well settled. And if prisoners have title to Articles 19, 21 and 14 rights, subject to the limitations, there must be some correlation between deprivation of comfort and legitimate function of a
correctional system. Imprisonment does not spell farewell to fundamental rights.
EFFECTS OF IMPRISIONMENT: Deterrence, both specific and general rehabilitation, and institutional security are vital considerations. Compassion wherever possible and cruelty only where inevitable is the art of correctional confinement. When prison policy advances such a valid goal, the Court will not intervene officiously. But when an inmate is cruelly restricted in a manner which supports no such relevant purpose, the restriction becomes unreasonable and arbitrary, and unconstitutionality is the consequence. Social defense is the raison d’être of the penal code and bears upon judicial control over prison administration. If a whole atmosphere of constant fear of violence, frequent torture and denial of opportunity to improve oneself is created or if medical facilities and basic elements of care and comfort necessary to sustain life are refused, then also the humane jurisdiction of the Court will become operational based on Art.. 19.
CONCLUSION: Whenever fundamental rights are flouted or legislative protection ignored to any prisoner's prejudice, Court's writ comes to the rescue and to right the wrong and restore the rule of law. Prison system may make rational distinctions in making assignments to inmates of vocational, educational and work opportunities available but it is constitutionally impermissible to do so without a functional classification system. Courts cannot be critical of the administration if it makes a classification between dangerous prisoners and ordinary prisoners. A distinction between the under trials and convicts is reasonable. In fact lazy relaxation on security is a professional risk inside a prison. Powers of the Supreme Court is to interfere to right the wrong and restore the rule of law.