Group Rights Prisoners.


1. Prison

2. Prisoner

3. UN Charter

4. India Law

5. The Prisons Act, 1894

6. The Prisons Act, 1990

7. Conclusion



1. A Place of confinement for the safe custody of persons; a goal. [Whart.]. 

2. Includes any place which has been declared by a State Government, by general or special order, to be a subsidiary jail, [Section 2(c), Transfer of Prisoners Act, 1950 (India)]. 

3. Includes any subsidiary jail, judicial lock-up or police lock-up and any place used for the custody of persons who are ordered to be detained under any law for the time being in force, [Section 2(a), Exchange of Prisoners Act, 1948 (India)]. 

4. Includes (i) any place which has been declared by the State Government, by general or special order, to be a subsidiary jail and (ii) any reformatory, Borstal institution or other institution of a like nature, [Section 2(b), Prisoners (Attendance in Courts) Act, 1955 (India)].


1. One who is being tried for felony; one who is confined in a prison. [Whart.]. 

2. Means a person undergoing a sentence of imprisonment under an order passed by a criminal court including the courts established under the law for the time being in force in contracting States, [Section 2(c), Repatriation of Prisoners Act, 2003 (India)]. 

3. Means any person committed to custody in a prison on or before the 1st day of August, 1948 under the writ, warrant or order of any Court or authority other than a civil Court or Court-material, [Section 2(b), Exchange of Prisoners Act, 1948 (India)].

UN Charter:

The charter of the United Nations was signed on 26 June 1945, in San Francisco, at the conclusion of the United Nations conference on international organization, and came into force on October 24, 1945.

• Basic Principles for the Treatment of Prisoners :

Adopted and proclaimed by General Assembly resolution 45/111 of 14 December 1990

1. All prisoners shall be treated with the respect due to their inherent dignity and value as human beings.

2. There shall be no discrimination on the grounds of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

3. It is, however, desirable to respect the religious beliefs and cultural precepts of the group to which prisoners belong, whenever local conditions so require.

4. The responsibility of prisons for the custody of prisoners and for the protection of society against crime shall be discharged in keeping with a State’s other social objectives and its fundamental responsibilities for promoting the well-being and development of all members of society.

5. Except for those limitations that are demonstrably necessitated by the fact of incarceration, all prisoners shall retain the human rights and fundamental freedoms set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and, where the State concerned is a party, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Optional Protocol thereto, as well as such other rights as are set out in other United Nations covenants.

6. All prisoners shall have the right to take part in cultural activities and education aimed at the full development of the human personality.

7. Efforts addressed to the abolition of solitary confinement as a punishment, or to the restriction of its use, should be undertaken and encouraged.

8. Conditions shall be created enabling prisoners to undertake meaningful remunerated employment which will facilitate their reintegration into the country’s labour market and permit them to contribute to their own financial support and to that of their families.

9. Prisoners shall have access to the health services available in the country without discrimination on the grounds of their legal situation.

10. With the participation and help of the community and social institutions, and with due regard to the interests of victims, favourable conditions shall be created for the reintegration of the ex-prisoner into society under the best possible conditions.

11. The above Principles shall be applied impartially.

Indian Law:

A. Constitution:The rights guaranteed in the part III of Indian Constitution are available to prisoners; because a prisoner is treated as a person in prison. Article 14 contemplated that like should be treated alike, and also provided the concept of reasonable classification. This article provides the basis for prison authorities to determine various categories of prisoners and their classification with the object of reformation. Indian constitution guarantees six freedoms to citizens of India, among which certain freedom can’t be enjoyed by the prisoners. They are freedom of movement, freedom to residence and to settle and freedom of profession. But other freedoms conferred in this article are enjoyed by the prisoners. Moreover, constitution provides various other provisions though cannot directly be called as prisoners rights but may be relevant. Among them are Article 20(1), (2), and Article 21 and Article 22(4-7).

The Prisons Act, 1894:

1. Accommodation for prisoners.

2. Duties of Medical Officer.—

Subject to the control of the Superintendent, the Medical Officer shall have charge of the sanitary administration of the prison.

3. Maintenance of certain prisoners from private sources.—A civil prisoner or an unconvicted criminal prisoner shall be permitted to maintain himself, and to purchase, or receive from private sources at proper hours, food, clothing, bedding or other necessaries, but subject to examination 

4. Supply of clothing and bedding to civil and unconvicted criminal prisoners.

5. Provisions relating to mental and physical state of prisoners.

6. Examination of prisoners by qualified medical officer.

7. Separation of prisoners for male, female, criminal, civil, convicted and under trial prisoners.

8. Provisions for treatment of under trials, civil prisoners, parole and temporary release of prisoners.

The Prisons Act, 1990:

1. It is the duty of the government for the removal of any prisoner detained under any order or sentence of any court, which is of unsound mind to a lunatic asylum and other place where he will be given proper treatment.

2. Any court which is a high court may in case in which it has recommended to government the granting of a free pardon to any prisoner, permit him to be at liberty on his own cognizance.

Conclusion :

The rights guaranteed by Art.21 are for every person and not even the state could deny it. Prisoners also have all the rights which a free man has under some restrictions. Just being in prison doesn’t deprive them from their fundamental rights.


[Section 2(c), Transfer of Prisoners Act, 1950 (India)].

 [Section 2(a), Exchange of Prisoners Act, 1948 (India)].

[Section 2(b), Prisoners (Attendance in Courts) Act, 1955 (India)].

[Section 2(c), Repatriation of Prisoners Act, 2003 (India)].

[Section 2(b), Exchange of Prisoners Act, 1948 (India)].

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