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The Center queries the states whether they have a list of inmates for whom money was an obstacle to obtaining bail

The Center has requested information from all states about impoverished inmates who are being held behind bars because they are unable to pay fines or get bail because of financial difficulties.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said in a statement to all states and union territories that it had developed a plan to provide such prisoners financial help.

The states and UTs were notified in May 2023 that the federal government would cover the costs associated with this initiative, allowing them to fully use it to alleviate poverty among incarcerated individuals.

It was anticipated that the state and UT authorities would have taken the required steps to form empowered committees in accordance with the rules and SOP and would have recognized the inmates who qualify to receive benefits from this program.

“Your personal review of the matter and confirmation to MHA regarding the existence of Empowered Committees as envisioned in the guidelines and SOP in all state and UT districts, as well as whether the beneficiaries of this scheme have been identified by the state and UT prison authorities, is requested as this is a significant scheme of the Government of India that could have far-reaching effects on the lives of impoverished prisoners who cannot secure their release from prisons on bail or due to non-payment of fines.”

According to the home ministry, the necessary funding has been provided by the federal government and is available for the states and UTs to access after they have complied with the SOP and guidelines.

“Therefore, the concerned officers of the state and UT authorities may issue necessary directions to activate the scheme immediately and furnish MHA with a confirmation in this regard,” the statement said.

 

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