Ayushi Priyadarshini & Madhurika Durge gives us some suggestions to improve the conditions of the undertrial prisoners in India.


Around 2/3 of prisoners languishing in Indian jails are
undertrials. These undertrials are presumed to be innocent
and majority of them remain incarcerated due to their inability
to pay the bail amount, a situation which highlights the
inherent economic discrimination entrenched in the system.
This research paper highlights the failure of the judiciary to
implement Section 436A of the Cr.P.C. and questions the same
with respect to the Right to Equality enshrined in the
Constitution of India under Article 14 by suggesting the
inclusion of the term ‘non-discrimination on economic basis’
under Article 15. The paper then moves on to the legal
presumption of ‘innocent unless proven guilty’, which seems to
be denied to the undertrials. With the help of statistics, it seeks
to showcase how the bail system is prejudiced towards the rich
and the idea of justice rendered is unfair, because the poor are
not represented adequately. The paper talks about legal aid,
police torture and the degrading quality of life that undertrials
lead, including the failure to actualize the segregation between
undertrials and convicted criminals. Lastly, through various
landmark judgments, the author(s) emphasise on the right to
speedy justice and why it is constantly being denied,
culminating in the growing number of undertrials. The
author(s) thereafter give suggestions to reform the current
state of undertrial prisoners. According to them there needs to
be a change in the bail system, an improvement in the quality of
life of undertrials and an increase in the judge-population
ratio. The aim is not solely to ensure dispersal of justice but
also ensure equality in the justice dispersed.