Violation of Human Rights of Prisoners in India

    Human Rights



    All humans are born free, independent, and with equal dignity and rights. They have reason and conscience, and they should use them to live in a spirit of love and fraternity.

    Human rights are rights that all people have, regardless of their nationality, residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or another status. Human rights are fundamental to us as humans, and we are all entitled to them equally and without prejudice.

    Globally Treaties, legislation, customary international law, general principles, and other sources of international law, such as the ‘Universal Declaration of Human Rights,’ frequently express and guarantee universal human rights. International human rights law imposes obligations on governments to act in particular ways or refrain from acting in certain ways in order to promote and defend people’ and groups’ human rights and basic freedoms.

    In international human rights law, non-discrimination is a requirement. The principle is found in many major human rights treaties, and it serves as the fundamental and specific issue of some international human rights conventions, such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Kind of Discrimination Against Women.

    The principle applies to everyone in regards to all human rights and freedoms, and it prevents discrimination based on a seemingly endless range of factors such as sex, race, colour, and so on. The principle of equality complements the idea of non-discrimination: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” Furthermore, while we have the right to our own human rights, we must equally respect the rights of others.


    The universality of human rights is the foundation of international human rights legislation. This principle has been reaffirmed in various international human rights conventions, declarations, and resolutions since it was originally underlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. The 1993 Vienna World Conference on Human Rights, for example, stated that all states, regardless of their political, economic, or cultural systems, have a responsibility to promote and preserve all human rights and fundamental freedoms.


    The term “prisoner” is defined under section 1 of the Prison Security Act of 1992 as “any individual who is kept in legal custody for the time being in a prison as a result of any condition imposed by a court or otherwise.”

    To put it another way, a prisoner is someone who is detained against his will. One who is detained against his will and deprived of his liberty. Forced restriction or captivity can take away this liberty.

    We can state that a “prisoner” is a person who is imprisoned or held in custody because he or she has committed a crime against the law of the land.

    “Convicts do not lose any of their fundamental rights only because they have been convicted by the courts.

    The term “prisoner” refers to somebody who is detained in a jail or prison for violating a law of the land. A prisoner, sometimes known as an inmate, is someone who is deprived of their liberty against their will. Forceful restraint or confinement can take away this liberty.

    The Indian socio-legal system is founded on nonviolence, mutual respect, and individual human dignity. By committing a crime, a person remains human and has all of the characteristics that require him to be treated with the dignity and respect that a human being deserves.

    Human rights are required by the very nature of human life. It is vital to ensure a reasonably dignified living for every individual in a civilised society organised with law and a system. Even if a person is confined or imprisoned for his wrongdoing, he is entitled to their rights, which are untouched by the punishment for wrongdoings, simply because a person who is on trial or a convict cannot have his rights taken away.


    Human rights are those that are essential to human existence. Human rights are the rights of all people everywhere to certain claims and freedoms. These rights, in addition to being fundamental and universal, have taken on an international significance. These rights guarantee that man is free. Human rights include the universalization of rights without distinctions of any type. These rights acknowledge the most basic human desires and wants. Every country should protect its citizens’ human rights. Every country’s constitution should include a section on human rights.

    Every government has a responsibility to create laws and conditions that preserve their citizens’ basic human rights. India, as a democratic country, grants such rights to its inhabitants and allows them to exercise certain rights, such as freedom of expression. These ‘Fundamental Rights,’ as they are known, are an integral aspect of India’s Constitution.

    Six Fundamental Rights are guaranteed by the Constitution.

    The Right to Equality

    The Right to Freedom

    The Right Against Exploitation

    The Right to Religious Freedom

    The Cultural and Educational Rights

    The Right to Constitutional Remedies.


    Since the beginning of time, torture in prison has been ubiquitous and prevalent in India. It has become a ‘normal’ and ‘legal’ practise all around the world, unchallenged and unfettered. Torture is inflicted not only on the accused but also on bona fide petitioners, complainants, or informants in the name of investigating crimes, extracting confessions, and punishing individuals by law enforcement agencies, amounting to cruel, inhumane, barbaric, and degrading treatment, grossly derogatory to the individual dignity of the human person. Women are also subjected to torture in the form of incarcerated rape, molestation, and other forms of sexual abuse.

    The level of a nation’s civilization may be mainly evaluated by the tactics it utilizes in the implementation of criminal law,” the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India said in the case of Joginder Kumar v. State of UP and Ors. Human rights are broadening in scope. The crime rate is also rising at the same time. Human rights violations have been reported to the court as a result of indiscriminate arrests. In this direction, a pragmatic approach is needed. Individual rights, liberties, and privileges are weighed and balanced against individual duties, obligations, and responsibilities under the law of arrest.

    The court in Sunil Batra vs Delhi Administration gave a clear response to the question of whether prisoners are individuals and if they are entitled to fundamental rights while in detention, however, the fundamental rights may be limited.

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    (MARCH – APRIL 2022)



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