Rights of Prisoners

Rights of Prisoners

Rights of Prisoners

#GS-02 Governance

For Prelims

Important Judgements in Rights of Prisoners:

State of Andhra Pradesh v. Challa Ramkrishna Reddy:
  • A prisoner is entitled to all the fundamental rights unless curtailed by the constitution.
State of Maharashtra v. Prabhakar Pandurang Sanzgir:
  • The Supreme Court stated that the mere fact that someone is detained cannot deprive one of his fundamental rights and that such conditions are not to be extended to the extent of the deprivation of fundamental rights of the detained individual.
  • The Court further ruled that every prisoner retains all such rights that are enjoyed by free citizens except the one that is lost necessarily as an incident of confinement.
Charles Sobaraj v. Supdt Central Jail Tihar
  • It was ruled that all the rights available to prisoners under Articles such as 14, 19 and 21 are though limited but cannot be said to be static.
Sunil Batra v. Delhi Administration
  • Supreme Court highlighted that imposition of solitary confinement is only to be made in exceptional cases where the prisoner is of such violent or dangerous nature that his segregation becomes an utmost necessity.
  • The court also observed that keeping prisoners in bar fetters day and night reduces them to the level of an animal and deteriorates their mental health.
Kharak Singh v. State of UP
  • The Supreme Court ruled that the term “life” connotes more than mere existence like that of an animal.
Pandit Parmanand v. Union of India
  • The word “life” is not just limited up to the period of death but even after that.
  • Therefore, when a person was executed with the death penalty but the dead body was not lowered even after half an hour, in spite of the fact that the doctor already gave the death certificate, this amounted to a violation of Right to life under Article 21.


What are conjugal rights?

  • Broadly speaking, conjugal rights are rights created by marriage, that is, the right of the husband or the wife to the company of their spouse.
  • In the context of prisons, however, conjugal visits refer to the concept of allowing a prisoner to spend some time in privacy with his spouse within the precincts of a jail.

Conjugal Visits as a Right:

  • Prisoner rights are internationally recognised through the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights etc.
  • The right to maintain family relations including conjugal visits are included in these treaties.

To know more about Prison Reforms click here and here.

Source “The debate around conjugal visits for prisoners