Delhi Prisons (Visitors of Prisons) Rules, 1988
Published vide in Delhi Gazette, Extra ordinary Part 4, No. 76, dated 18th Apri1,1988 vide Notification No. F. 9175/87-Home (G)/3, in exercise of the powers conferred under clause 125 of section 59 of the Prisons Act, 1894 (9 of 1894) by the Administrator of the Union Territory of Delhi.
(b) (1) Officials or (2) non-officials, appointed by name by the Administrator.(2) The following officers and such others as the Administrator may from time to time appoint in this behalf shall be ex-officio visitors of every jail within the respective areas under their charge or within their jurisdiction : —
(a) Secretary Home, Delhi Administration, Delhi.
(b) Commissioner of Police.
(c) District and Sessions Judge.
(d) District Magistrate.
(e) Director, Social Welfare Deptt., Delhi Administration, Delhi.3. Visits by official visitors. - (1) Commissioner of Police and Sessions Judges are required to visit the jails once in three months and once a month, respectively. (2) District Magistrates are required to visit the jails once fortnight. 4. Duties of official visitors. - (1) Any official visitor may examine all or any of the books, papers and records of any department of Jail and may interview any prisoner confined therein. (2) It shall be the duty of every official visitor to satisfy himself that the provisions of the Prisons Act. 1894, and of all rules, regulations, orders, and directions made or issued thereunder, are duly observed, and to hear and bring to notice any complaint or representation made to him by any prisoner. 5. Non-Official visitors term of official appointment. - (1) The Administrator may appoint such number of persons to be non-official visitors in respect of any jail as he may think fit. (2) Every non-official visitor so appointed shall hold office, as such, for a period of two years, but may be re-appointed on the expiration of that term. 6. Non-official visitors to be gazetted. - The names of such persons as are willing to undertake the important duties, and are being appointed as non-official visitors of specified jails, shall be notified in the Gazette. 7. Visits by non-official visitors. - Every non-official visitor is expected to interest himself in and visit the jail of which he is a visitor, once a month, and often, if possible. Intimation of the intended visit need not be given. 8. Duties of all visitors. - (1) All visitors shall be afforded every facility for observing the state of the jail, and the management thereof, and shall be allowed access under proper regulations, to all parts of the jail and to every prisoner confined therein. (2) Every visitor should have the power to call for and inspect any book or other record in the jail unless the Superintendent for reasons to be recorded in writing, declines on the ground that its production is undesirable. Similarly, every visitor should have the right to see any prisoner and to put any question to him out of the hearing of any jail officer. There should be one visitors' book for both classes of visitors, their remarks should in both cases be forwarded to the Inspector-General, who should pass such orders as he thinks necessary, and a copy of the Inspector-General's order should be sent to the visitor concerned. 9. District Magistrate to visit and inspect jails. - (1) It shall be the duty of the District Magistrate to visit and inspect jails and to satisfy himself that the provisions of the Prisons Act, 1894, and of all rules, regulations, directions and orders made or issued thereunder, applicable to such jail, are duly observed and enforced. (2) In all matters relating to the discipline maintained in and the management of jails, the Magistrate of the district visiting and inspecting any jail under the provisions of these rules shall discharge his duties subject to the general control of the Inspector-General. (3) A record of the result of each visit and inspection made, shall be entered in a register to be maintained by the Superintendent for the purpose. 10. Exercise by District Magistrate of powers under the Prisons Act. - The orders passed under Sub-section (2) of Section 11 of the Prisons Act, 1894, should, except in emergent cases in which immediate action is, in the opinion of such Magistrate, necessary, be so' expressed that the Superintendent may have time to refer (if he thinks necessary) to the Inspector-General before taking action thereon. 11. District Magistrate to communicate with Superintendent. - (1) The District Magistrate, shall not address any communication or order to any officer of any jail other than the Superintendent. All orders issued by the District Magistrate shall be in writing. (2) The District Magistrate's orders should ordinarily be issued in the form of an entry in the visitor's book. The District Magistrate is not required to interfere in matters of detail effecting the management of a jail. He should beware of action having a tendency to weaken the authority of the Superintendent over subordinate jail officers and prisoners. (3) If the Magistrate gives an order to which the Superintendent takes exception, the latter Officer ,may represent the matter to the Inspector-General, but he shall forthwith obey any order which is not already inconsistent with the Prisons Act or any rule made thereunder and does not involve any immediate risk or danger. In the event of his hesitating to obey any order on any of these grounds. he shall. in case of urgency, obtain the Inspector-General's orders immediately. (4) In cases which are not urgent, the Superintendent will refer in the ordinary course, to the Inspector-General and will communicate that Officer's reply, without delay, to the Magistrate. 12. Board of Visitors. - Once in every three months, not less then two, ex-officio and one non-official visitors, of which one, unless prevented by unavoidable cause, shall be the District Magistrate, shall constitute a Board and visit the jail of which they are visitors. The District Magistrate shall be the ex-officio Chairman of the Board, the Board should meet at the jail on such days as the District Magistrate may determine, and will inspect all buildings and prisoners, hear any complaints and petitions that may be preferred, inspect the prisoners' food and see that it is of good quality and properly cooked, inspect the punishment book and satisfy themselves that it is kept up-to-date. 13. Duties of visitors. - All visitors, official and non-official, at every visit shall— (1) Inspect the barrack, cells, wards, work shed and other buildings of the jail generally and the cooked food ; (2) ascertain whether consideration of health, cleanliness, and security are attended to, whether proper management and discipline are maintained in every respect, and whether any prisoner is illegally detained, or is detained for an undue length of time, while awaiting trial ; (3) examine jail registers and records; (4) hear, attend to all representations and petitions made, by or on behalf of prisoners ; (5) direct, if deemed advisable, that any such representations or petitions be forwarded to Government; and (6) ordinarily not visit the high security area ignoring the instructions given by the Inspector-General on this behalf. 14. Time of visit. - No visit should be made after the prisoners have been locked for the night or on Sundays and other Gazetted holidays. 15. Punishing the Prisoners for complaints made to visitors-Respect for visitors. - No prisoners shall be punished for any statement made by him to a visitor unless an enquiry made by a Magistrate results in a finding that it is false. 16. (1) Due respect should be paid to the official and non-official visitors and their request for information should be complied with readily. (2) No visitor can be allowed to go round a jail without an escort which is necessary for his personal safety. But on the demand of the visitor, the guard should withdraw from ear short of the prisoner, so as to permit of private communication between the visitor and the prisoner out of the hearing of the guard. (3) Any visitor is at liberty to go round the jail un-attended except for a warder escort, if he so desired :
Provided that the visitor shall in no case interview a prisoner convicted of sedition or of an offence into which the element of sedition has entered except in the presence of the Superintendent or the Deputy Superintendent.(4) Except on the occasion of the visit of the Board of Visitors no visitor can claim to be accompanied on big rounds by the Superintendent, Deputy Superintendent or Assistant Superintendent. Visitors are not permitted without the express consent of the Superintendent to interview more than one prisoner at a time. Anything in the nature of a meeting or conference whether for the discussion of political topics or the ventilation of Jail grievances is strictly prohibited. All private interviews with prisoners will normally be subject to a time limit of ten minutes. If a visitor wishes to exceed this limit, he should give his reasons for doing so in writing to the Superintendent. 17. Duties of Lady visitors. - Lady visitors shall have the same powers and duties as the male visitors, except that their functions shall extend only to the female prisoners and female wards, and that shall have nothing to do with the made portion of the jail. 18. Date of visit to be recorded and Copy of remarks to be sent to certain Officers. - (1) Every visitor shall, after he has completed his visit to the jail, record in the visitors' book, the date and hour of his visit, and may enter therein any remarks or suggestions be may wish to make. (2) A copy of the record made by every visitor, together with the Superintendent's reply thereto or the action taken by the Superintendent thereon, shall be forwarded to the Inspector-General and, in the case of any remark made relative to the long detention of any unconvicted prisoner, a copy of such remark shall also be forwarded to the Sessions Judge. 19. Disposal of the record made by a visitor. - (1) Any remarks made by a visitor under the preceding rule should be limited to a statement and fair criticism of actual facts which may come to his knowledge and to such suggested as he may desire the Superintendent or Inspector General to consider. Criticism should be confined to such aspects of the ordinary administration of the jail as the visitor may consider susceptible of alteration or improvement, and should on no account directly reflect either favourably or adversely on the character or conduct of any of the jail staff. Should the visitor wish to bring to notice what he considers to be the good or bad work of any official he should do so by letter addressed to the Inspector General. (2) The Inspector General may pass orders on any record made by a visitor, and shall if any question of importance is raised, which in his opinion requires the orders of the Delhi Administration forward such record to the Delhi Administration. (3) A copy of any order passed by the Inspector General or by Delhi Administration on any record made by a visitor shall be communicated to the visitor concerned through the Superintendent. Note: A spare copy of the list will be kept at the main gate and handed over to a visitor on the occasion of his visit to the jail. Each non-official visitor will be supplied with a copy on his appointment. 20. Admission of Police Officers and the interrogation of prisoners by them. - (1) A Police Officer not below the rank of a Deputy Commissioner of Police for any purpose connected with the discharge of his duty as such may be permitted to enter the jail at any time. (2) Police Officers of subordinate rank to those specified in Clause (1), who may be detailed for the duty, may be permitted to enter the jail—
(a) for the purpose of recognising habitual criminals at the , of the Superintendent's Weekly parade ; and
(b) for the purpose of conducting operations for the identification of prisoners during working hours on any week day ; or
Provided that the permission to the Police Officers of the subordinate rank to enter the jail for the purpose of recognising the habitual criminals may be granted only if the habitual criminals to be recognised have been declared to be the habitual criminals by the Competent Authority at the time of their conviction or afterwards.(3) No Police Officer shall, at any time, upon any pretext whatsoever, be allowed to enter any female ward or any cell or compartment in which any female is for the time being confined or present, without the permission in writing, of the Superintendent. (4) No Police Officer shall be permitted to interrogate any prisoner, except in so far as may be necessary for the identification of such prisoner, without an order, in writing from the competent court addressed to the Superintendent. (5) Any interview permitted under an order from the competent court shall take place in the presence of the Deputy Superintendent or other proper officer of the jail, who shall keep at such a distance that he may not hear the conversation that takes place. 21. Rank of officer deputed to interrogate a prisoner. - A Police Officer deputed to interrogate a prisoner under the provisions of clause (4) and (5) of the preceding rule, should ordinarily not be below the rank of a Assistant Sub-Inspector. 22. Police Officer to be in uniform. - No subordinate Police Officer shall be admitted to a jail unless he is in proper uniform. 23. Officers of the PWD may enter the jail during business hours. - The Superintending Engineer of the Circle, the Executive and Assistant Engineers of the District and their employees, shall during business hours, have free access to the jail to such extent as may be necessary for purposes connected with the discharge of the official duties of their Department. but not otherwise. 24. Special permission to be accorded to other persons. - Save as hereinbefore in these rules provided, no person shall be admitted into any jail, unless he is accompanied by or has obtained the permission in writing, of the concerned Superintendent, the Magistrate of the District, or the Inspector General.