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Monday, April 22 2024
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Supreme Court Rejects Plea Seeking To Repeal Laws On Solitary Confinement In Jails

Supreme Court
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New Delhi: The Supreme Court declined to address a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) on Monday that sought directives to Parliament for the repeal of penal law provisions allowing jail authorities to impose solitary confinement on prisoners.

A bench led by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud, alongside justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, expressed skepticism, stating, “How can we instruct Parliament to revoke a provision?”

The bench clarified that while a petition could challenge alleged discrimination and infringements of prisoners’ fundamental rights, directing lawmakers to annul laws was beyond its jurisdiction.

“We can strike down laws too, but that requires proper legal grounds,” the bench remarked, suggesting the petitioner submit a more substantiated plea on the matter.

Solitary confinement is a disciplinary measure enforced for violating jail regulations or orders, isolating the prisoner from all human interaction except for jail personnel.

Provisions such as Sections 73 (solitary confinement) and 74 (limitations of solitary confinement) of the IPC, in conjunction with Section 29 of the Prisons Act, govern the regulations pertaining to this form of punishment, subject to the duration of the sentence, not exceeding three months in total and over 14 days continuously.

The PIL was lodged by the ‘Legal Attorneys and Barristers Law Firm.’

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