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Raj govt amends prison norms to omit caste-based labour assignment

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Jaipur, Feb 16: Rajasthan government made three amendments to Prison Rules to omit caste-based labour assignment in jails.

This comes after High Court took suo motu cognizance of media report on caste practices in prisons.

Raj govt amends prison norms to omit caste-based labour assignment

In Rule 67 on "Cooking of Food" that had eligibility criterion of "Brahmin/high-caste Hindu" inmate, new line on no selection based on caste/religion has been inducted.

Similarly, part of a section dealing with 'Restriction on the employment of convicts as tradesman' had earlier read that "the barber shall be a non-habitual prisoner.

Sweepers shall be chosen from among those who, by the custom of the district in which they reside or on account of their having adopted the profession, perform sweeper's work, when free.

Any-one else may also volunteer to do this work, in no case, however shall a person, who is not a profession sweeper, be compelled to do the work".

This paragraph has now been replaced to state: "No tradesman shall be chosen on the basis of his caste or religion." Clause (d) of Rule 27 of Section 1, Part 15, which included the definition of a habitual offender as "any member of a criminal tribe subject to the discretion of the Government", has also been deleted.

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    The high court had taken cognizance of a report by The Wire on caste practices prevalent in prisons across different states in India.

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