The Rajasthan High Court has pronounced that as per the provisions of Rule 31 of the Rajasthan Prison Rules, 1951, wages to be paid to the Prisoner for the last five years have to be revised. Non fulfillment of the same, would lead to violation of the provisions and would amount to contravention of the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court.
As per the provision of Rule 31(1) of Part XII of the Rules of 1951, the prisoners who have worked as labourers in the prison are entitled to the wages as fixed by the Government from time to time after cutting down the expenses on clothing, food and other item of expenditure.
The wages will be paid on the basis of the work done by them as directed to them. Also, out of the amount to be paid to the prisoners 75% will be given to them and 25% of the wages to the victims or his beneficiary.
The State Government has been directed by the Division Bench comprising of Justice Rameshwar Vyas and Justice Sangeeta Lodha to revise the wages to be paid to the prisoners in line with the decision of the Supreme Court in State of Gujarat & Anr. Vs. Hon’ble High Court of Gujarat and as per the provisions of Rule 31 of 1951 Rules.
A committee is to be constituted for evaluating the quantam of equitable wages to be paid to the prisoners within a stipulated period of two weeks. The Committee would make recommendations and the State Government would come to a decision taking into the consideration the recommendation of the Commiitee.
It was further instructed by the Court that until the State Government comes into a decision, the prisoners would be paid wages as per the work done by him in accordance to the rates as prescribed by the State Government.
The bench opined, “while considering the quantam of wages payable to the prisoners we are persuaded to take into the account the contemporary legislative exercises on wages.”
The Bench stated that the court cannot overlook inaction on the part of the State in revising the wages to be paid to the prisoners for their labour. A time period of three months has been given to the State Government to file a compliance report.