SC: Supreme Court vows to end caste bias in jail, sends notices to governments | India News

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NEW DLEHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday vowed to eradicate caste-based discrimination of inmates inside jails and issued notices to 13 states and the Union government after entertaining a PIL which alleged that inmates belonging to Dalit communities and denotified tribes, often referred to as habitual offenders, were assigned menial jobs and labour-intensive work inside jails.
Senior advocate S Muralidhar drew the attention of a bench led by CJI D Y Chandrachud to a December 2020 news article by petitioner journalist Sukanya Santha on the discriminatory treatment meted out to prisoners in jails across the country and said he was personally aware that Dalit inmates are segregated from other prisoners in Tamil Nadu.
He said surprisingly, colonial-era prison manuals permitted such caste-based division of labour and governments had done little to amend the manuals in sync with basic human rights, which could not be denied to even prisoners.
In its order, the bench took note of scribe’s article ‘From Segregation to Labour, Manu’s Caste Law Governs the Indian Prison System’, which highlighted caste-based discrimination in Indian prisons, the division of manual labour, segregation of barracks on caste lines and the discriminatory treatment of denotified tribes.

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