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SC suggests idea of private jails built by corporates

Says this could be done as part of Corporate Social Responsibility


The Supreme Court, on Thursday, expressed concern over the conditions of jails in the country and suggested the idea of building private jails involving big corporates.

The apex court said big corporate houses can build private prisons as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility.

“In Europe, there is a concept of private jails. Then there is corporate social responsibility. If you give them sufficient inducement you can have jails built. Because you don't want the public exchequer to be used for that. There is an alarming number of under-trial prisoners. They will build it and give it to you and claim reduction under the Income Tax. A new concept will emerge. Then a new concept will evolve, from anticipatory bail to anticipatory jail,” said a bench of Justices K.M. Joseph and Hrishikesh Roy.

The observation came after senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for activist Gautam Navlakha, said there is over overcrowding in jails and only Ayurveda doctors are available for patients.

The top court said the study of prisons is the lowest priority for any government.

The top court directed the Taloja jail superintendent to immediately shift Gautam Navlakha, incarcerated in connection with the Elgar Parishad-Maoist link case, to Mumbai's Jaslok hospital for treatment, after the activist's counsel said he has colon cancer.

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