Srinagar: Government of India to Support Impoverished Prisoners Unable to Secure Bail or Pay Fines
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) announced on Wednesday that the Government of India will extend assistance to indigent prisoners who are unable to secure bail or pay the fines levied on them.
In a communication sent to all States and Union Territories (UTs), the MHA conveyed that it had devised a scheme to aid financially disadvantaged inmates. The scheme will provide financial support to those prisoners who remain incarcerated due to their inability to pay fines or secure bail due to financial constraints.
According to the document, the Central Government will bear the expenses associated with this initiative, and the States/UTs are encouraged to fully utilize the scheme to alleviate the plight of impoverished inmates.
The communication also mentioned that Union Home Secretary, in a letter dated June 19, 2023, had informed the Chief Secretaries of all States/UTs about the scheme. It included a copy of the ‘Guidelines and Standard Operating Procedure’ to be followed during the scheme’s implementation. States and UTs were advised to establish an ‘Empowered Committee’ in each District to assess the financial support requirements for bail or fine payments in each case. Based on the committee’s decision, the District Collector/District Magistrate (DC/DM) will access the necessary funds from the Central National Account (CNA) and provide assistance to the prisoners.
The MHA expressed its expectation that State/UT authorities have initiated the required steps to establish the ‘Empowered Committee’ as outlined in the Guidelines and SoP and have identified eligible prisoners who can benefit from this scheme.