Student at Rizvi Law College, University of Mumbai, India
The current topic has come to light after our President Smt. Draupadi Murmu’s speech on Constitution Day, draws concern over the rising number of undertrial prisoners. The presumption on which the principle of our justice system is based is “innocent until proven guilty” which has come into question now due to the prolonged periods of imprisonment of undertrial prisoners. Without conviction, they are serving prison sentences and in many cases, these sentences exceed the punishments prescribed in the code. The statistical report highlights the increase in the share of undertrial prisoners in the total prison population over the years. The paper investigates the factors responsible for the prolonged detention of undertrial prisoners such as delay in trials and investigations, poor economic conditions, deprivation of legal representation, biasness of the bail system towards the rich and privileged classes, low judge-population ratio and illiteracy. The research, further, explores the negative impacts on the lives of undertrial prisoners taking a heavy toll on their physical as well as mental health, sometimes leading to unnatural deaths; discrimination by society and extreme financial hardships. The study, thereafter, highlights the fundamental and legal rights guaranteed to them by the Constitution of India,1950 and the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 supported by various landmark judgments, which in this case are clearly violated. Lastly, the paper presents a set of suggestions that could reform the prevailing criminal justice system of India.
International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 6, Issue 2, Page 1478 - 1485DOI: https://doij.org/10.10000/IJLMH.114549
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution -NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits remixing, adapting, and building upon the work for non-commercial use, provided the original work is properly cited.
Copyright © IJLMH 2021