In the case Amit Sahni v Govt. Of NCT Of Delhi & Anr., the Director General of Prisons has informed the Delhi High Court that there were more than 600 vacancies as on May 31 in the prisons of national capital and the steps are underway for filling up the vacant posts in prisons.
It stated that out of the total 3253 posts in Delhi’s Tihar, Rohini and Mandoli jails, a total of 2572 positions have been filed, leaving a total of 681 vacancies.
Further, the details have been provided in a status report by the DGP, Prison Headquarters, Tihar Jail in response to a public interest litigation seeking filling up of pending vacancies in prisons including of Medical Officers, Counsellors, Welfare Officers, Yoga Teachers, Teachers for Education and Education Vocational Counsellors.
It added that the status report submitted that 48 general teachers and 23 technical teachers have been deputed by Delhi government’s education department for the prison inmates. Thus, the teachers have started visiting the Prison Department and they visit twice in a week.
The Court has been told that details of the vacant posts are regularly shared with the Delhi government’s health department, regarding the medical and para medical staff.
The Status report added that for the post of Counsellors a vacancy notice vide advertisement No.2/21 dated 12.05.2021 has already been circulated by DSSSB vide which 40 posts of Counsellors were sought exclusively for Prison Department.
The PIL filled by Advocate Amit Sahni for seeking direction for constituting the Board of Visitors, Service Board, State Advisory Board and Prison Development Board as provided under Delhi Prison Act 2000 and Delhi Prison Rules 2018, in the larger interest of prisoners and as well as of the prison administration.
The plea filled contends that though the Board of Visitors was constituted on September 13 in 2019, the same is awaiting its notification since then “for the reasons best known to the respondent authorities.
It is also stated in the plea that apart from the said vacancies, jails in Delhi are facing 20.25 percent staff shortage.
It is argued in the plea that the Delhi government and DGP are duty bound to take adequate steps not only for the welfare of the prisoners but also for well-being of prison staff, stating that the welfare of prisoners and prison staff goes hand in hand. The petition also submits that the shortage of prison staff is a reason for inadequate management of prisons which sometimes leads to violence upon “the errant inmates by the staff members.”