Eight out of ten Indian prisoners were awaiting trial in 2021: Report

New Delhi, September 13 (KMS): As many as nine out of ten inmates in prisons of Delhi are awaiting the completion of their trial which is a whopping 91 per cent of undertrials in the Indian capital’s prisons, says a report.

India Justice Report (IJR) said that out of the 5.54 lakh prisoners in India, 4.27 lakh (77%) were undertrial. It said with the exception of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Tripura, the undertrial population of all other Indian states exceed 60%. Delhi’s prisons house 91% undertrials, i.e., 9 out of 10 prisoners await completion of their trial, it added.

The report, based on the analysis of the Prisons Statistics India 2021 released recently, said 24,033 undertrials have been in jails for three to five years, while 11,490 have been detained for over five years. Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra had the highest number of such prisoners.

The report pointed out that out of the total undertrials in India, 21.08% belonged to Scheduled Caste, 9.88% to Scheduled Tribes whiue 18% were Muslims.

The report said the occupancy rate of the prisons also increased from 120% in 2020 to 130% in 2021. It said, this means that prisons had 5,54,034 inmates, a lakh more than their capacity of 4,25,609.

It said that with the onset of the second wave of the pandemic, and fresh directions to limit arrests and decongest prisons, only 93,526 inmates were released in 17 states/UTs (Union Territories) between March and July. “Yet, as of December 2021, nineteen out of thirty-six states and union territories had overcrowding ranging from 185% in Uttarakhand – the highest, to 100.2% in Rajasthan,” it added.

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