Only 13 prisons in State are now overcrowded, govt. tells High Court


The High Court of Karnataka on Thursday asked the State government to suggest notable charitable organisation who can assist prison authorities to improve facilities and living conditions in prisons in the State.

Meanwhile, the government told the court that prisoner population is only 96% of the total capacity of all 47 prisons in view of measures taken to decongest prisons as per the Supreme Courtโ€™s guidelines in view of COVID-19, and and only 13 prisons are overcrowded at present.

As against the total capacity of 15,083, the number of prisoners in all jails is 14,535 as of October 27, the government said in the statement filed before a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice S. Vishwajith Shetty.

Numbers reduced

The government pointed out that the average number of prisoners in all prisons was 110% in March and the same has now been reduced to 96% of the total capacity.

The overcrowding in the Bengaluru central prison has been brought down to 12% from the 34% present in March.

The Bench was hearing a petition filed by Amol Kale, a prime accused in the Gauri Lankesh murder case, who complained about shortcomings in protecting prisoners from COVID-19.

The other overcrowded central prisons are Mysuru (with 14% overcrowding compared to 55% in March), Kalaburagi (41% and 65%), and Vijayapura (45% and 94%).

The overcrowded district prisons are Mangaluru (31% and 57%), Davangere (12% and 25%), Bidar (4% and 112%), Koppal (28% and 100%), Haveri (4% and 35%), Chamarajanagar (13% and 26%), Kolar (39% and 84%), Yadgir (5% and 28%), and Chickballapur (-20% and 14%).

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