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HC anguished over plight of prisoners

SHILLONG: The High Court of Meghalaya has expressed anguish over the living condition of the prisoners in Shillong jail.
The pending matter was taken up by the division bench comprising Chief Justice Ajay Kumar Mittal and Justice H S Thangkhiew on Wednesday.
On June 7, the court along with the Registrar cum-Principal Secretary to the Chief Justice and protocol officers had visited the Shillong District Jail.
During the visit, W. Diengdoh, Member Secretary, Meghalaya State Legal Services Authority, Md. Noor Ain Khan, District and Sessions Judge, Robert Kenedy M. Sangma, Assistant Inspector General of prisons, D. War Khyllew, Superintendent of District Jail, Shillong and medical officers were also present.
“On inspection of the jail, conditions of the jail inmates were found to be very pathetic. The ratio of accommodation and number of jail inmates were found to be totally unmatched. The manner in which they were kept in the rooms found to be so congested and unhygienic to be able to survive for a human being”, the court observed.
Later, a note was prepared by the Registrar-cum Principal Secretary to the Chief Justice and it will be treated as Public Interest Litigation (PIL).
The court also issued notice based on the PIL to the state government through additional chief secretary, home (police) department, Commissioner and Secretary, law department, Commissioner and Secretary, prisons department, Director General of prisons and union of India through Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs.
While K. Khan, senior government advocate accepted the notice on behalf of the state government, K. Paul accepted notice on behalf of the Centre and sought for time to file their respective responses.
At the request of the court, senior advocate TT Diengdoh was appointed as Amicus Curiae to assist the court.
The matter will come up for hearing on June 28.

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