New Delhi: Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Saturday alleged that the legal system in the country is distorted and only the poor are in jail without trial or bail.
Citing National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, he said that most of the undertrials are poor and belong to the oppressed classes and hoped that the latest Supreme Court order will bring some relief to such people.
“As per NCRB data, 76 per cent of all prisoners are under consideration. Out of the under trial, 27 per cent are illiterate, 41 per cent have dropped out before class X. what does this mean? Most of the undertrials are poor and most likely from the oppressed classes,” he said in a series of tweets.
“The legal system is so distorted that only the poor rot in jail without trial and bail,” he said.
The former Union Minister said that the proportion of under trial in Jammu and Kashmir is 91 percent.
“I am sure most of them are in jail on charges – yet unproven – of inciting or indulging in violence. Let us see if the latest Supreme Court order brings relief to these poor, helpless prisoners,” said Chidambaram he said.
The Supreme Court on Friday said some “out-of-the-box” thinking is needed to decongest prisons and reduce the burden of criminal cases in courts.
A bench of Justices SK Kaul and MM Sundaresh, which had been hearing cases relating to appeals pending in criminal cases for a long time, observed that closure of lower courts by criminal cases is an important aspect.
The top court had last week expressed displeasure over the long delay in hearing the bail pleas of convicted prisoners pending their appeals.