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NHRC Issues Notice to UP Govt Over Chaining of Elderly Prisoner to Hospital Bed in Etah

Representational image.

Representational image.

An official was suspended after a photo of the elderly convicted murderer, sitting on a hospital bed with an oxygen mask on and his feet chained to the footboard surfaced.

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued a notice to the Uttar Pradesh government over the chaining of a 92-year-old prisoner to his hospital bed during treatment at the Etah district hospital, officials said on Friday. The NHRC has sought a report from the state government within six weeks of receipt of the notice.

Last month, a photo of Baburam Balram Singh, a convicted murderer, sitting on a hospital bed with an oxygen mask on and his feet chained to the footboard was posted on social media. An official of the Etah district jail was suspended in connection with the incident.

In a statement, the NHRC said keeping an over 90 years old ill prisoner in jail indicates the "malfunctioning of the Sentence Review Board in the state". "The National Human Rights Commission has taken a serious view of the chaining of a 92-year-old prisoner to a bed during treatment in Etah district hospital, Uttar Pradesh," it said.

Accordingly, the commission has issued a notice to the chief secretary, government of Uttar Pradesh, seeking a report within six weeks from the date of its receipt, explaining aspects like when the last meeting of the Sentence Review Board was held, how many cases are pending before it and in how many cases have sentences been commuted in 2020 and 2019, it said. The NHRC also asked the UP chief secretary to state in his report as to what system is followed in jails for referring matters to the Sentence Review Board.

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"The functioning of the Sentence Review Board should be improved for the protection of human rights of prisoners and decongesting jails to relieve the government from the burden of taking care of such old and ill inmates," the NHRC said.

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first published:June 18, 2021, 21:44 IST