National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) Report

National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) Report

According to the data of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) released recently, “India Justice Report”, 75 percent of the prisoners in jails across India are under-trials, which is the highest in a decade.

Other points in this report:

  • Despite the decrease in the number of convicts, the number of under-trials has increased sharply in the year 2020. As a result, the number of under-trials has increased to more than three-fourths of the total inmates in jail.
  • Prisoners’ access to the judiciary was difficult due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the number of under-trials has come down by 26 lakh due to release on bail in the year 2020 as compared to the year 2019.
  • An under-trial prisoner is one who has not yet been convicted and is facing trial in a court of law.
  • Due to the high number of under-trials in India, problems such as overcrowding in prisons, medical delays, unhygienic conditions and malnutrition have arisen.

The following are the reasons for the increase in the number of under-trials:

  • Lower proportion of judges compared to the population,
  • Delay in the investigation process,
  • Shortage of public prosecutors,
  • Most of the under-trial prisoners belong to poor, illiterate and underprivileged communities etc.

Measures taken to improve:

  • Fast Track Courts (FTCs) have been set up.
  • E-Jail project has been started to bring efficiency in prison management.
  • The Model Prison Manual, 2016 provides information on the legal services available to inmates in prison.
  • On bail orders, the Supreme Court has launched the “Fast and Secure Transmission of Electronic Records” (FASTER) scheme.
  • National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) is providing free legal services to under-trials.

Source – The Hindu

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