No more solitary cells in Karnataka prisons

Death row convicts have been taken out of the secluded cells and allowed to mix with other convicts in their barracks

Bengaluru: With the Supreme Court ruling that confinement of death row convicts in solitary cells in the prisons is unconstitutional and that no condemned convict shall be kept in solitary cells, the death row convicts in Karnataka prisons, whose death sentence has either been commuted to life by the courts or are awaiting the Presidential pardon, have been taken out of the secluded cells (andhari) and allowed to mix with other convicts in their barracks and common areas under vigil.

Majority of the condemned convicts, including the notorious serial rapist Umesh Reddy, serial killers Saibanna and Cyanide Mallika, country’s worst known necrophiliac gang – Dandupalya and the four aides of the former forest brigand Veerappan – Meesekar Madaiah, Gnanaprakash, Simon and Bilavendranare, along with others are lodged in the Hindalga Central Prison in Belagavi and some of them are in the Bengaluru Central Prison at Parappanna Agrahara.

“None of the condemned convicts is in solitary confinement any more as per the Supreme Court orders. There’s additional security and vigil for them so that they don’t harm other convicts or prison staff but they are allowed to mix with other convicts and move inside the prison premises in the common areas,” said a senior officer of the Prison Department. He added that with the acute shortage of manpower and proper infrastructure these hardened criminals and psychopaths pose a grave danger to other prison inmates and staff.

Sections 28 and 29 of Chapter 5 of the Karnataka Prisons Act, 1963; on ‘solitary confinement’ and ‘prisoners under sentence of death’ states that “every such (condemned) prisoner shall be confined in a cell apart from all other prisoners and shall be placed by day and by night under the charge of a guard”, but with the January 2014 judgment of the court on the rights of death row convicts the solitary cells are now history.

( Source : dc )
Next Story