That letter from NIA and the public murder in Tihar… know why the central government is changing the 130-year-old prison law

According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Model Prisons Act 2023 has been finalized.

The central government is going to change the 130-year-old British Prisons Act. The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has announced that the Model Prisons Act, 2023 has been finalised. In the new Act, arrangements have been made for the rehabilitation of the prisoners, from the reform of the jails. The Model Prisons Act 2023 has various provisions ranging from the use of technology for prison management to parole, furlough, women and transgender prisoners.

Why was there a need for a new act?

In the recent past, there has been a spate of violent incidents inside the jails. Recently, 33-year-old gangster Tillu Tajpuria was stabbed to death in broad daylight by members of another gang in Delhi’s Tihar Jail. After the murder of Tillu, the Tihar Jail administration was in a lot of trouble. On May 12, it was announced to bring the Model Prison Act 2023 after violent incidents and crimes like murder in the jail.

What did NIA say?

Only last year, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) had suggested to the Union Home Ministry that the dreaded criminals lodged in all the jails of North India should be shifted to the jails of the South, as there is a possibility of violence due to mutual rivalry inside the jail. NIA had talked about transfer of 25 gangsters lodged in jails of North India, especially Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan, to jails of other states.

What’s new in the new act?

The change in the British-era Act of 1894 is aimed at the reformation and rehabilitation of prisoners. On the basis of good behavior, arrangements have been made for prisoners from parole to furlough and many other exemptions. According to this act, there is a provision to keep women prisoners and transgender prisoners in separate cells, so that their physical and mental health is not negatively affected.

Emphasis on training and skill development

In the new Act, emphasis has been laid on vocational training to skill development for the rehabilitation of prisoners. In the 2023 Act, special attention has been paid to transparency in jails. In which there are also provisions like considering the complaints of the prisoners.

High security jail will be built

In order to prevent violent incidents inside the jail, it has been said to open high security jails to open and semi-open jails on the lines of many countries in America and Europe. There are also provisions like monitoring of prisoners. In the new Act, arrangements have been made for production of prisoners through video conferencing. Along with this, it has been said that if the prisoners are found using banned things like mobile phones inside the jail, then there is also a provision to punish them.

what else is new?

Apart from the Prisons Act 1894, the Union Home Ministry also reviewed the Prisoners Act 1900 and Transfer of Prisoners Act 1950 (Transfer of Prisoners Act, 1950) and its relevant sections have also been included in the Model Prisons Act 2023.


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