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A 92-year-old prisoner was tied to a hospital bed during his treatment at the Etah district hospital in Uttar Pradesh.
Following this, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Friday, June 18, issued a notice to the state government over the chaining of an older person to his bed during treatment, NDTV reported.
The authorities have been directed to submit a response within six weeks from the date of the notice issued.
NHRC swung into action after the image of Baburam Balram Singh was widely circulated on social media last month, wearing an oxygen mask, with his feet tied to the footboard of the bed, leaving the netizens distraught. According to the media report, he is a convicted murderer and has been behind bars for years.
Later, the Director-General of Police Anand Kumar had suspended Ashok Yadav, the jail's warden, in connection with the incident. The hospital staff was also directed to remove the chains immediately.
In its statement, the commission questioned the failure of Uttar Pradesh's Sentence Review Board in considering the applications for the release of the convicts, including Balram Singh's.
The NHRC said that keeping an ill prisoner of over 90 years of age indicates the 'malfunctioning of the state's review board. The body emphasised the necessity of a proper review board to protect the human rights of prisoners.
"The functioning of the Sentence Review Board should be improved for the protection of their rights and decongesting jails to relieve the government from the burden of taking care of such old and ill inmates," the media quoted the official statement.
Taking cognisance of the matter, the NHRC issued notice to the chief secretary, government of Uttar Pradesh, asking for a report detailing records of the last meeting of the Sentence Review Board, cases are pending before it, and the cases acknowledged in the last two years (2019-20).
The Chief Secretary has to submit the report on the kind of system followed in jails for referring applications to the Sentence Review Board.
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