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Plight of jailed tribal undertrials 'serious': SC

Plight of jailed tribal undertrials serious: SC

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has termed as "serious" the plight of tribal undertrials, lodged in various central jails in eight Naxal-affected states, but sought factual details for passing any judicial order.

"These are very serious matters. You (PIL petitioner) are only relying on the media report. The data can be collected. You complete facts. We cannot pass order on generalised data.

"If you want this court to entertain this petition, at least file certain facts so that we can act," the bench headed by Justice R M Lodha said and asked the petitioner to file an additional affidavit giving factual details.

The bench was hearing the PIL filed by Jinendra Jain on behalf of society 'Fight For Human Rights' alleging that thousands of tribals were languishing in various central jails without any trial in Naxal-affected states like Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and West Bengal.

Advocate K R Chitra, appearing for the society, argued that the Centre and the eight states be asked to respond as the issue was related to the fundamental rights of the underprivileged section of the society.

"The Adivasi undertrials are languishing in various jails for very long period without any trial and as a result, unrest and hostilities are prevailing in tribal areas of the country," the advocate argued.

"Often, the undertrials are not informed about the grounds of their arrests," the PIL said.

They are not even duly represented by lawyers of their choice as there are very few interpretors available in courts who can speak Adivasi languages like 'Gondi' and 'Halbi', it said.

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