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Updated January 3rd, 2024 at 13:01 IST

SC issues notice to Centre, 12 states over caste discrimination in prisons

The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued notice to Centre and 12 state governments on a plea seeking directions to curb caste-based discrimination in prisons.

Digital Desk
Jail
Prison | Image:Representative
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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued notice to Centre and 12 state governments including of West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh on a plea seeking directions to curb caste-based discrimination in prisons and manuals work being allocated to them based on different castes. 

A three-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud found that prison manuals in more than 10 States, including Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, continue to have provisions which sanction discrimination and forced labour on the ground of caste in prisons.

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Certain de-notified tribes and habitual offenders are treated differently and discriminated against, senior advocate S Muralidhar said. He said that the jail manuals of these 11 states discriminate in allocation of work inside their prisons and caste determines the places where inmates are lodged.

The court asked Muralidhar to compile jail manuals from the states and listed the plea for hearing after four weeks.

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Issuing notices to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs and others, the bench asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to assist the court in dealing with the issues raised in the PIL filed by Sukanya Shantha, a native of Kalyan in Maharashtra.

“The petitioner states that caste-based discrimination is there in barracks to the manual labour which is allotted and such discrimination among de-notified tribes and habitual offenders. The plea seeks repeal of offending provisions in state prison manuals. Issue notice to the Union and the state government...,” the court ordered.

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Published January 3rd, 2024 at 12:54 IST

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