Citizens' Issues
SC imposes costs on states, UTs for not furnishing information

These states and the UTs have been given three weeks time to respond

 

The Supreme Court on Monday imposed cost of Rs.25,000 each on 26 states and seven union territories for not responding to the central government's communication seeking information on utilisation of funds for providing better and hygienic conditions in jails so that prisoners could lead a life with dignity.
 
A bench of Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice N.V.Ramana imposed the cost on these states and union territories after it was told that only three states - Maharashtra, Bihar and Jammu and Kashmir - have furnished information in response.
 
Displeased over the cold attitude of the state governments towards the conditions of the prisoners, Justice Lokur said: "Just because some people are criminals or under trials, it does not mean that they would be treated like dirt."
 
The court's observation came as Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Neeraj Kishan Kaul told the court that apart from Maharashtra, Bihar and Jammu and Kashmir, no other state has replied to the letter.
 
These states and the UTs have been given three weeks time to respond.
 
Counsel Gaurav Agrawal who is amicus curiae in the matter told the court that in some states, the overall number of prisoners lodged in the jail may be fine but within the states, there are jails where there is over-crowding.
 
The court by February 5 direction had had said that the "director general of police/inspector general of police in-charge of prisons should ensure that there is proper and effective utilisation of available funds so that the living conditions of the prisoners is commensurate with human dignity. This also includes the issue of their health, hygiene, food, clothing, rehabilitation etc".
 
The directions had come in pursuance to the hearing on the matter that the court had taken up in 2013 following receipt of a letter from former chief justice of India R.C.Lahoti pointing to inhuman conditions prevailing in 1,382 prisons in India.
 
Besides states not replying to the centre's communication, the court also took exception to the usage of words, "other causes of (unnatural) death" used in the response filed by the government on the causes of unnatural deaths of prisoners in the prisons.
 
Asking its meaning and ASG Kaul told the court that he too raised the issue with the officials.
 
The court also inquired about the compensation in such cases. "What about the compensation. Are you giving compensation (to prisoners who suffer unnatural deaths). Have you asked the states to pay compensation?" 
 
In another matter relating to juvenile justice and also in this, the court chided the National Legal Service Authority for not extending the legal aid to the under trial prisoners.
 
"For children, you are not giving legal aid. For adults, you are not giving legal aid. What are you doing. Whom are you giving legal aid to," the court asked.
 
As NALSA sought more time for developing module for the training of lawyers, Justice Lokur said that they were supposed to complete it by December 31, then sought another three months, but was given time till January end and "now you are again seeking another three months".
 
Telling the counsel for NALSA that there were complaints against the body, the bench said: "Your position is 'You will not let anyone do it, and (you) we will not do it (yourself)'."
 
"If you don't do it by next date, we will ask someone else to do it," it warned.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

J Pinto

11 months ago

In Japan the elderly citizens who have run out of money are committing petty crimes like shoplifting to enjoy Sarkari hospitality.

MNREGA at Rs 200 per day for 6 months of the year is definitely a more economical option for the nation.

India's fastest train flagged off

The semi-high speed train, travelling at 160 kmph, will operate between the Hazrat Nizamuddin station and Agra Cantonment station

 

Union Minister for Railways Suresh Prabhu on Tuesday flagged off India's fastest train, the Gatimaan Express, from Nizamuddin Railway station here.
 
The semi-high speed train, travelling at 160 kmph, will operate between the Hazrat Nizamuddin station and Agra Cantonment station. 
 
"Launching of Gatimaan Express is an important step for railways. Our drive to scale new heights continues unabated," said Prabhu at the launch. 
 
Prabhu also inaugurated an executive lounge at Agra Cantt railway station via remote from Delhi.
 
The Gatimaan Express will run six days a week. It comprises of two executive AC chair cars and eight AC chair car coaches. The fare for a single AC chair car seat will be Rs.750, and that for the executive AC chair car seat Rs.1,500.
 
The new train also provides on-board entertainment facility including free WiFi. 
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
 

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Icelanders protest against PM's tax haven allegation
Reykjavik: Thousands of Icelanders gathered in front of parliament to express their anger against the government following the release of the Panama Papers, which suggest Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson and two other cabinet members have ties to offshore companies.
 
The riot gear equipped police used iron fences to separate protester and the parliament building. After the speeches, the protesters chanted, banged drums and threw bananas, toilet paper and yogurt towards the parliament building, demanding the government's dismissal, Xinhua reported.
 
"The government should respect the basic rules of democracy and stand down at once. We therefore demand elections now!" said a demand on Facebook.
 
The documents, leaked from a Panamanian law firm called Mossack Fonseca, reveal Gunnlaugsson co-owned a company called Wintris Inc, set up in 2007 on the Caribbean island of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands, to hold investments with his wife Anna Sigurlaug Palsdottir.
 
He sold his entire shares to Palsdottir for one dollar in late 2009. But he failed to declare his interest in the company after he entered Iceland's parliament in 2009.
 
As the Wintris claimed millions dollars in assets in three bankrupted Icelandic banks after the financial crisis in 2008, Gunnlaugsson is faced with allegations from opponents that he has hidden a major financial conflict of interest from voters ever since he was elected a parliament member seven years ago.
 
The prime minister's office said in a statement that his holding of Wintris shares was an error. He and his wife corrected it after they got married in 2009.
 
However, in an interview with the media on Monday, Gunnlaugsson said he was not going to resign and the current government performs well.
 
The documents also suggest both the minister of finance and economic affairs Bjarni Benediktsson and the interior minister Olof Nordal were in connection with offshore companies.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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