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  Metros   Delhi  30 May 2018  EDMC faces Delhi HC ire over cleanliness

EDMC faces Delhi HC ire over cleanliness

Published : May 30, 2018, 6:45 am IST
Updated : May 30, 2018, 6:45 am IST

The prisoners had written letters to the high court about their plight inside the jail.

Delhi High Court. (Photo: PTI)
 Delhi High Court. (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Tuesday pulled up the municipal corporation of East Delhi (EDMC) for not ensuring cleanliness around the newly-commissioned Mandoli Jail, which houses over 3,500 prisoners and staff.

A bench of acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C. Hari Shankar also issued a showcause notice to an EDMC assistant commissioner, who had earlier told the court that the area was being kept clean, asking why contempt action be not initiated against him.

The bench was of the view that existence of garbage along the prison’s boundary wall was “contumacious” and indicated non-compliance of court orders.

The showcause notice was issued after the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), represented by advocate Sanjeev Ralli, showed photographs of open drains and garbage strewn all around the prison.

Taking note of the unhygienic conditions depicted in the photographs, the bench said the situation at the site was “intolerable” and “can seriously impact health of the inmates”.

The court had earlier also expressed concern over unhygienic conditions there after advocate Sumer Kumar Sethi, appointed as amicus curiae, had said that prisoners and officials were disturbed because of pollution and smoke emanating from waste burning by factories and scrap dealers just outside the prison’s jail No. 13 and 14.

The bench was hearing a PIL initiated by it last year after several prisoners moved the HC complaining about inhuman conditions and lack of medical and employment facilities at the Mandoli Jail here.

The prisoners had written letters to the high court about their plight inside the jail. On the issue of appointment of trained counsellors in the jails, family courts, juvenile justice boards and observation homes, the Delhi government informed the court that it has received approval of the Lieutenant Governor.

The government also said the recruitment rules were now pending before the finance department for final consideration. The bench said the issue of appointment of counsellors was of “critical importance” and asked the Delhi government’s finance department to complete its examination of the recruitment rules “at the earliest”.

To decongest the Tihar Jail in west Delhi, two other jails — one at Rohini in northwest Delhi and another at Mandoli in east Delhi, were made operational in December 2004 and October 2016 respectively.

The Mandoli complex, which has six prisons, can house 3,776 inmates. Tihar and Rohini jails have 14,469 prisoners as against the sanctioned strength of 6,250.

The letters by the inmates had complained of pathetic living conditions in the jail, besides the lack of medical facilities, employment opportunities and faulty punishment procedures allegedly being implemented by the jail administration.

Tags: delhi high court, edmc, mandoli jail