When businessman-turned-conman Vijay Mallya got vocal about the condition of the India prison, even going to the extent of calling them ‘pathetic’, the jail authorities were left red-faced. To take a step towards rectifying the situation and the condition of the prison, the authorities are now installing new blocks of the cells in the Arthur Road jail. These new blocks will be at par with the international standards.
Arthur Road jail is a 93-year old prison which has sheltered many high-profile convicts. An old block will be torn down to set up the new block which will have a dozen cells and toilets on the ground as well and the first floor. An insider revealed that the new block will be constructed in the span of six months. The new cells will only be allotted to the fugitive millionaires who will be deported back to face trials.
“The cells will meet European and UK prison standards and all human rights criteria. The public works department has started work and received quotations for demolition of the building,” an official said.
“As of now, we have limited cells that meet global standards. So we are going to build more modern cells for extradited smugglers, fraudsters and accused hiding abroad,” he further added. Until now many such conmen and fugitives have stayed away from being extradited back to India on the grounds of ‘poor jail condition’.
The high-profile prisoners who are currently lodged at the Arthur Road jail have been moved temporarily into a facility which is replete with fans, TV, and commode with water. Videos of tehse rooms have been sent to the UK courts to prove the condition of the jail in Mallya’s case.
“There will only be a specific number of prisoners in these cells. They will be clean, have hygienic toilets, enough sun and light and space to move around,” added the officer.
It is a known fact that the Arthur Road jail, like many others in the country, is overcrowded. It houses about 2,000 more than its capacity at present.
Like Mallya, other fugitives such as diamantaires Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi, are also being pursued by the CBI and ED. Modi and Choksi are accused of defrauding Punjab National Bank by issuing letters of undertaking worth Rs. 13,000 crores.
The reason jails are taking to refurbishing the cells into those of international standard is to meet the global human rights standards including rules that apply to imprisonment, rights of detainees, condition of jails, etc. The cases against all the fugitives are being lodged and fought in the foreign courts so the global human rights standards are a must.
Information source: timesofindia
Title image source: dna