ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A+| A| A-

Tribal Undertrials

In the first quarter of the 19th century, the prison was a place for the detention of the undertrials. Unfortunately, even today, Indian prisons are almost filled with undertrial prisoners. Prison data reveals that undertrial prisoners constitute 65% of the total prisoners in India, with a significant increase in this percentage over the years. Irfan Ahmad and Md Zakaria Siddiqui, in an article in this journal (EPW, 4 November 2017) highlighted the over-representation of minorities in prison. More explicitly, Adivasis, Dalits, Christians, Muslims all are over-represented in prisons when compared to their total population. The tribal population in India is 8.63% of the total population, but comprises 11.33% of the total prison population. Both Dalits and tribals are over-represented in undertrial populations.

Vijay Raghavan opines that governments use prisons as an instrument of social control, and emphasises the need for quality legal aid service to undertrials (EPW, 23 January 2016). There is much literature elaborating the inability of certain sections of society to negotiate within the criminal justice system, especially in terms of seeking bail. When the court grants bail to an accused, the issue of security in terms of property arises. Thus, persons who do not possess property face difficulty in securing bail. The court supposes that only fear of forfeiting property ensures the availability of the accused in the court. However, compulsory surety for bail sends the explicit message that justice is more favourable to people who possess property.

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here

Updated On : 30th Nov, 2018
Back to Top