New Delhi, Jan 31 (UNI) For the first time in its history, Asia's largest prison complex Tihar Jail saw a reduction of nearly 2,000 inmates in 2007, thanks to the introduction of plea bargain system.
Addressing the media, Director General (Prisons) B K Gupta said reduction from the 2006 figure of 13,500 inmates to 11,500 in 2007 was a milestone in the history of Tihar Jail.
''Actually much of this can be attributed to the plea bargaining system introduced by the Delhi Legal Services Authority which has benefited 664 prisoners here. The rest was due to speedy trial of prisoners through 85 courts held at Tihar complex where 4,216 cases were disposed off,'' he said.
The plea bargain system, which started from the Tihar Jail, was introduced after due amendments were made in the legal process, he said, adding that ''such courts'' were now being held almost every two months.
Highlighting the achievements of the Delhi prisons at the annual showcase before the media, Mr Gupta said one of the biggest steps taken to make security set-up at ihar a fool-proof measure was introduction of Close Circuit Televisions at all strategic locations in the premises.
''The installation process has been on for the last five months and would be complete by the first week of next month, when the central command room would be finished,'' he said.
''Through this we would be able to keep a tab on almost whatever is going on within the Tihar complex. Whether it is the prisoners, visitors or the security personnel all would be under the scanner, and this would definitely give a big push to the security apparatus here.'' Ruing shortage of staff, which was impeding 'effective management' of the jails, Mr Gupta said with the process of construction on the Mandoli jail, with a capacity of 3,600 people, starting in April the easing of pressure on the Tihar facility would begin.
''More than 25 per cent of posts were lying vacant, but the shortage was likely to be filled this year through fresh recruitments.'' Informing that past year's raise in daily wages of prisoners by almost four-fold had led to Tihar's turnover doubling to Rs six crore from past fiscal's three crore, Mr Gupta said from hygience to water supply to welfare fund scheme, various new initiatives had been undertaken to improve the lot of prisoners here.
UNI AN MS HT1717