The Rajasthan authorities has amended Rajasthan Prison Rules to eliminate caste-based project of labour. As per a notification issued earlier this month, the state authorities made three amendments to those rules. The amendments come after Rajasthan High Court took suo motu cognizance of a media report on caste practices prevalent in prisons.
Earlier, Rule 67 on “Cooking of Food” below Section 2 had mentioned “any Brahmin or sufficiently high caste Hindu prisoner from this class is eligible for appointment as cook”. Now, this line is amongst these eliminated. A brand new line has been included to Rule 67: “No inmate shall be selected for cooking on the basis of his caste or religion.”
Similarly, a part of a bit coping with ‘Restriction on the employment of convicts as tradesman’ had earlier learn that “the barber shall be a non-habitual prisoner. Sweepers shall be chosen from among those who, by the custom of the district in which they reside or on account of their having adopted the profession, perform sweeper’s work, when free. Any-one else may also volunteer to do this work, in no case, however shall a person, who is not a profession sweeper, be compelled to do the work”. This paragraph has now been changed to state: “No tradesman shall be chosen on the basis of his caste or religion.” Clause (d) of Rule 27 of Section 1, Part 15, which included the definition of a recurring offender as “any member of a criminal tribe subject to the discretion of the Government”, has additionally been deleted.
The excessive courtroom had taken cognizance of a report by The Wire on caste practices prevalent in prisons throughout completely different states in India.