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Bail, not jail, for minor offences: India Supreme Court – The Times of India


Bail, not jail, for minor offences: SC-India-The Times of India

“For minor offences, you cannot put the accused in jail for long and make them languish till the date of conviction,” said the CJI, accepting the arguments of senior advocate Nidesh Gupta who appeared for the accused.

The SC’s reluctance to keep more and more undertrials in jails represents a ray of hope for nearly two lakh prison inmates awaiting trial in various cases. According to National Crime Records Bureau figures for the year 2006, nearly 54,000 undertrial prisoners were charged with murder.

“Theft and attempt to murder were two IPC crimes under which there were a large number of undertrial prisoners — 23,434 for theft and 22,526 for attempt to murder,” said NCRB statistics.

The difference

While the US has more than 2 million prisoners, many on minor charges, India has about 0.2 million. The US population is 300 million – and the Indian population is 1100 million.

The US has been enforcing the ‘3 strikes and you are out’ regime and India is talking about a humane way of handling crime.

Combine the fact of the lowest prison population in the world with the lowest police-to-population ratio in India, and what you have is a very different approach to crime management.

People can be demonized – or humanized. That may be the essential difference.

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