Srinagar, July 13: Chief Justice, High Court of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh and Patron-in-chief, J&K Legal Services Authority, Justice N. Kotiswar Singh today visited the Central Jail here to assess the conditions of the prisoners and the quality of legal aid services being provided to them.
The Chief Justice was accompanied by his Principal Secretary, M K Sharma and Member Secretary J & K Legal Services Authority, Amit Gupta.
On arrival to Central Jail, the Chief Justice was received by the Director General Prisons, J & K, Deepak Kumar and Chairman DLSA Srinagar Jawad Ahmed. Superintendent of Central Jail Srinagar, Daljit Singh; SP North Zone Srinagar, Raja Zuhaib and other officers of Central Jail Srinagar were also present on the occasion.
The Chief Justice, upon his arrival, was also accorded ceremonial guard of honour by contingent of CRPF deployed at the Central Jail.
During the visit, the Chief Justice had round of all the baraks and interacted extensively with the inmates and patiently listened to their grievances and concerns. The Chief Justice assured the inmates that their genuine grievances shall be redressed and also issued on spot instructions to the concerned to ensure that the grievances projected by the jail inmates are addressed at the earliest.
During the visit, the Chief Justice engaged in constructive discussions with prison officials, legal aid volunteers, and inmates of Central Jail Srinagar. During interaction all the jail inmates admitted that they are being represented in the respective courts either by the counsel engaged by them or by counsel provided by the respective District Legal Services Authorities, where ever their cases are pending.
To gauge the effectiveness of VC facility available in the Central Jail, the Chief Justice directed the jail authorities to connect the District Court Srinagar and interacted with the System Assistant and expressed satisfaction about the quality of Video Conference Facility.
Chief Justice also emphasized the significance of safeguarding the fundamental rights of prisoners, ensuring their access to justice, and offering them adequate legal support.
The Chief Justice also inspected Legal Aid Clinic within the Central Jail Srinagar and acknowledged that the same plays a pivotal role in providing legal assistance to the inmates. The Chief Justice expressed his satisfaction with the functioning of the clinic and lauded the efforts of the dedicated legal para legal volunteers for tirelessly striving to uphold the rights of the prisoners.
The Chief Justice also inspected the Medical Facility unit, Recreational Facility, Tailoring unit, Gymnasium, Carpentry Unit, Vet Canteen, Mulaqaat Centre, Calling Booth and other facilities available at the Central Jail.
DG Prisons, on the occasion assured the Chief Justice that for the decongestion of the Central Jail, Srinagar, appropriate steps will be taken at the earliest, besides assuring the construction of additional washrooms for the jail inmates.
Pertinently, the primary purpose of the visit was to take stock of the conditions and facilities available to the inmates, besides evaluate the effectiveness of Legal aid Clinic established in the Central Jail Srinagar.