Sunday, August 14, 2022

Expedite release of undertrial prisoners: PM

Ease of justice was equally important as ease of living as India celebrates the 75th year of its independence, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday as he urged the judiciary to expedite the release of undertrials languishing in various jails.
Addressing the first All India District Legal Services Authorities Meet here, Modi said citizens have immense faith in the judiciary and access to the judicial system is equally important as the delivery of justice for any society.
“This is the time of ‘Azadi ke Amrit Kaal’. This is the time for the resolutions that will take the country to new heights in the next 25 years. Like Ease of Doing Business and Ease of Living, Ease of Justice is equally important in this Amrit Yatra of the country,” he said at the conference, which was also attended by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana.
The Supreme Court has spoken on several occasions on the need to be sensitive towards the humanitarian issue of undertrial prisoners, he said and added that the District Legal Services Authoritiescan take up the responsibility of providing legal aid to such prisoners.
The District Judges, as Chairpersons of undertrial review committees, can expedite the release of undertrial prisoners, Modi said.
Lauding the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) for undertaking a campaign for the release of undertrial prisoners, he urged the Bar Council to encourage more lawyers to get involved in this campaign.
According to the ‘Prison Statistics India’ report published by the National Crime Records Bureau in 2020, there were 4,88,511 prison inmates of which 76 per cent or 3,71,848 were undertrials.
He further said “a common citizen should be aware of his rights and duties in the constitution. They should be aware of their constitution, and constitutional structures, rules and remedies. Technology can play a big role in this too.”
The two-day meeting of DLSAs, organised by the NALSA, began here on Saturday. Besides Modi and Ramana, the inaugural session was attended by Supreme Court judges U U Lalit, D Y Chandrachud, Law Minister Kiren Rijiju, and Minister of State for Law SPS Baghel.
Other Supreme Court Judges, Chief Justices of High Courts, Executive Chairpersons of the State Legal Services Authorities (SLSAs) and Chairpersons of the DLSAs were also present.

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