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Nagaland has one of the most manageable prison systems in India

By Livine Khrozhoh Updated: Aug 30, 2021 11:08 pm
Mezivolu T Therieh (centre), officers and advocates after the awareness programme at Central jail, Dimapur, on Monday. (EM Images)

Our Reporter
Dimapur, Aug. 30 (EMN):
Nagaland State has one of the most manageable prison systems in India in terms of slow occupancy as well as workforce, according to the official statistics issued by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.

This was updated by Mezivolu T Therieh, Registrar, Supreme Court of India and Secretary, Supreme Court Legal Services Committee (SCLSC), during an awareness programme organised by SCLSC in collaboration with Dimapur District Legal Service Authority and KAL, for the prisoners at Central Jail in Dimapur, on Monday.

prison systems in India

Therieh lauded the prison department for effort in creating such a good name all over India.

“The overall prison occupancy rate in Nagaland as of December 31, 2019, according to the ‘Prison Statistic India 2019’ released by the National Crime Records Bureau, was 30.8% which is the best among the states,” she said.

She also said that Nagaland had filled 99.49% of the sanctioned post as staff strength in its jails as on December 31, 2019.

Enlightening the convicts how cases dismissed in the High Court could be taken to the Supreme Court, she said the SCLSC provides free legal services to the eligible applicants to represent them before the Supreme Court and also renders legal advice as and when required.

She encouraged the inmates not to be disheartened by being in prison but speak with the legal service committee.

“As much as others, accused convicts are also entitled to human rights and hence we need to develop a robust towards helping these convicts in having ready, informed and expeditious access,” she said.

She updated that for facilitating informed access to those languishing in jails and want to approach SCLSC for free legal services, one could apply through either of the modes- High Court Legal Service Committee, SCLSC website or sending application through prison superintendent.

‘Reflect and correct yourself’

“While serving in prison, you should also reflect on yourself and your past actions and then reflect, meditate and correct yourself. And when you go out, you should be determined to be a changed person,” Therieh advised the inmates.

She also highlighted that SCLSC has a process of mandatory video conferencing between the legal aid applicant and the concerned panel advocate assigned by the committee before the filing of a matter, and if required at later stage of the case, so that their cases are taken up with utmost care and action presented before the apex court which is the last judicial resort in the table of justice.

Library at Central jail Dimapur. (EM Images)

She further appealed to all the concerned officials and employees of the prison department to make them aware of their right in helping them realise the real motto of legal aid institutions which is “Access to justices for all”.

She informed that at present, out of 39 convicts in the central jail, six cases had been appealed in the High Court and they were going to appeal more cases. She added that another case that needs to be addressed in the Supreme Court has been identified.

122 prisoners in Central Jail, Dimapur

The senior Superintendent of Central jail, Dimapur, Zachamo Lotha, updated that as on August 30, 2021, there were total 122 prisoners, out of which 70 were under trials, 13 under National Security Act (NSA, 39 convicts (rigorous imprisonment), and three convicts (simple imprisonment).

He also told the prisoners that during their stay in prison, they could enjoy their own human rights. He told them that that the government still care for them and is willing to listen to their appeals.

‘We cannot help you directly, but only the court can help you,’ he added.

Further, on behalf of the prisoners, he asked the advocates present to listen to their appeals so that someday they could go back to the society.

An advocate from the KAL group, Limasenla updated that they have brought books for the library prison. She also encouraged the inmates to read the books available in the library.

‘Everyone has their own human rights even inside the jail,’ she added.

Dr. Oben, Jailor, Central Jail, Dimapur, encouraged the inmates by saying that it was not the end for them as they could always appeal in the court. As per the record, six convicts have been released, he said while informing them that they were given the chance to appeal.

By Livine Khrozhoh Updated: Aug 30, 2021 11:08:36 pm