New Delhi, Sep 13: The Supreme Court today asked the Centre, all the states and Union Territories to respond to a petition alleging "blatant violation" of fundamental rights of prisoners, especially the indigent and juveniles in jails across the country.
A bench comprising Chief Justice P Sathasivam and Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai issued notices and asked the Centre, state governments and UT administrations to file their replies within four weeks.
The PIL, filed by a Delhi-based HRLN lawyer Suma Sebastian, has said the 1983 Mulla panel recommendations on prison reforms have not been implemented in letter and spirit and despite the law being in force; the poor and juveniles are languishing in jails.
The petition has sought a direction for immediate release of those under trials who are "held solely on bailable offences and have been in jails for longer than one week."
Those under trials, who are in jails for longer than half of the maximum sentence, be released, it said, adding, if the probe continues beyond the stipulated period of "60 or 90 days" (depending on the nature of the offence), the accused may be released.