New Delhi, Jan 3 : The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued notice to the Centre and 11 states on a public interest litigation (PIL) highlighting caste-based discrimination in state prison manuals.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) D.Y. Chandrachud sought response from the Union Home Ministry and the state governments of Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Punjab, Odisha, Jharkhand, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra in the matter.
The bench, also comprising Justices J.B. Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, sought the assistance of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta in the matter.
The matter will be next heard after four weeks. In the meantime, the apex court asked senior advocate S. Muralidhar to make a compilation of jail manuals from the states.
The plea, filed through advocate Prasanna S, highlighted that Thevars, Nadars, and Pallars are allotted different sections at the Palayamkottai Central Jail in Tamil Nadu, providing a “glaring instance of caste-based segregation of barracks".
The West Bengal Jail Code lays down that work in the prison should be designated by caste, such as cooking work will be undertaken by dominant castes and sweeping work shall be undertaken by people from a particular caste, the plea said.
The petition sought appropriate directions from the apex court for bringing such manuals and prison practices in conformity with the Constitution. (IANS)