New Delhi, Jun 26 (PTI) The Central Information Commission (CIC) has asked police research organisation BPRD to monitor and strive statistics relating to reform and rehabilitation of young convicts lodged in jails across India.
The transparency panel has directed the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD) under Section 25 of the RTI Act "to fulfil its objective and discharge its responsibility as a national think tank".
The case pertains to an RTI applicant, Chander Prakash, who had sought to know the classification of age between a young convict (juvenile offender) and an adult convict, and reasons for categorisation of prisoners as juvenile offender and adult offender by every state.
He approached the commission, the highest adjudicating body in Right to Information (RTI) matters, claiming that satisfactory response was not provided to him by the Union Home Ministry and the BPRD.
The BPRD claimed that it did not maintain such information, while the Home Ministry said prisons are a state subject.
"Further, the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 defines a child below the age of 18. The IPC classifies offence by a child under seven years of age, offence by a child above seven years of age and below the age of maturity and offence by adults," Information Commissioner Sudhir Bhargava cited the submissions of the Home Ministry.
The ministry also stated that the Delhi Prisons Act, 2000 defines a younger offender as a person who has attained the age of 16 years, but has not reached the age of 21 years.
The BPRD claimed that one of its objectives was to do research, collect statistics and disseminate the same so that the challenges relating to prisoners and implementation of prison reforms can be addressed by its correctional administration.
"The commission also notes that the BPRD is a national think tank on policy reforms in police. The commission also notes that the BPRD had prepared a Model Prison Manual for superintendence and management of prisons in India in 2003 which, inter-alia, defines adolescent prisoners, adult prisoners, casual prisoners, civil prisoners and young offenders," Bhargava said.
He noted the BPRD ought to have information not only of some points of the RTI application but also pertaining to various issues relating to policies pertaining to young offenders.
"The commission, therefore, directs the DG of the BPRD under Section 25 of the RTI Act that the BPRD should strive data, statistics and information relating to police as well as reformation and rehabilitation of convicts, especially young convicts so that it is able to fulfil its objective and discharge its responsibility as a national think tank," he said. PTI ABS ABS KJ