English: Gandhi meeting political prisoners at...

English: Gandhi meeting political prisoners at Dum Dum (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

8th august, 2012

CRR 463 of 2012
CRR 1312 of 2012
CRR 4000 of 2011
Mr. Subhasish Roy.
… for the petitioners.
Ms. Anusuya Sinha.
… for the State.

What are political offences? Who are political
prisoners? What is the role of political violence for
achieving the political goal professed by its believers?
What is the treatment which State should administer to
those who use political violence/activities to terrorize
others for achievement of their objective? Should means
defeat the end? What is the state of affairs in prison? and
How the prisoners should bedealt within socio-economic
realities of our nation? are a few questions which, being
unpalatable, have been thrown as dice on the board of
this Court.
These questions also test the ability of the
believer of liberty and democracy to keep his prejudices
and bias at bay to strictly confine to the provisions of the
statute believing in the maxim “those who believe in the
system, it is their duty to ensure fairness to those who
question the system”.

Before a humble effort is made to answer
these questions, it will be appropriate to divide this
judgment into five parts, (a) Facts, (b) Broad background,
(c) Provisions of the West Bengal Correctional Services
Act, 1992 (hereinafter referred to as, ‘the Correctional
Services Act’); its classificationof political prisoners; their
rights and the conveniences extended to them, (d)
Remedial measures which this Court propose as
recommendations, and (e) Conclusions and the prayer
(a) Facts
By this common judgment, three petitions,
viz. (1) Criminal Revision No.4000 of 2011, (2) Criminal
Revision No.463 of 2012 and (3) Criminal Revision
No.1312 of 2012 shall be decided together.
The petitioners herein, at one point of time,
claimed themselves to be Maoists and are dubbed by the
State as Naxalites. Maoists or Naxalites, being
interchangeable words, are tobe broadly understood in
reference to those persons who take up arms to dislodge
the existing system being aggrieved of socio-economic
disparities prevailing in the State.
The petitioners in all the three revisions
petitions have assailed the orders passed by the Courts
3below, whereby their prayer tobe declared as political
prisoners has been declined. They have approached this
Court with a prayer that they be treated as political
prisoners within the meaningof Section 24 of the
Correctional Services Act and a few conveniences which
the Correctional Services Act ensures to the political
prisoners be granted to them over and above the ordinary prisoners.

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