Over 73 pc inmates in AP jails are under trial prisoners: NCRB

Vishakapatnam: Over 73 per cent of inmates in Andhra Pradesh jails were undertrials, of which over 50 per cent were either illiterate or school dropouts. Undertrial prisoners became a major issue with many politicians and organisations demanding speedy trials.

The politicians as well as the legal fraternity underlined that most of the undertrial prisoners are poor or from middle-class families and they have appealed to state governments to release them on bail whenever possible.

Of the total 7,950 prison inmates in Andhra Pradesh, 5,831, including 312 females, were found to be undertrial prisoners, 2,104 were convicts, nine were detenues and six were others as per the NCRB’s prison statistics in India-2021.

The data related to the education profile of the undertrials have revealed that of the 5,831 undertrial prisoners in the state, 1,641 were illiterate, 2,437 were below Class-X, 456 were graduates and 84 postgraduates. The report said 1,149 undertrials were above Class-X but below graduation and 64 were holding tech degrees or diplomas in the state.

Among the undertrials, 4,658 belonged to Andhra Pradesh, 1,160 from other states and 13 were foreigners.

As per the age-wise percentage share of undertrials to the total in the state, 2,014 (34.5 per cent) were 18-30 years, 3,180 were (54.5 per cent) 30 to 50 years and 637 (10.9 per cent) 50 year and above.

Over 60 per cent of the total undertrials were charged with offences under the IPC while the rest were charged under NDPS, SLL and few others in the state.

It was observed that some inmates can’t even afford the bail amount, let alone hiring an advocate. A poor man (accused person in the crimes) remains in prison over a year without a trial for minor offences, said well known advocates.

In central prisons at Vizag and Rajamahendravaram, most of the undertrials were involved in cannabis trade and they have been struggling to get bail, he added. Around 1,100 booked under NDPS are in Vizag Central prison.

The denial of access to judicial services because of the pandemic in 2021 has led to an increased number of the under trials, said the officials.

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