Bengaluru: The Karnataka high court has directed the government to submit a comprehensive report on the facilities provided to the prisoners in jails across the state based on last year’s Supreme Court directives. The report is to be filed next month.

A high court division bench headed by Abhay Shreeniwas Oka directed the government advocate to provide details on the availability of washrooms, facilities extended to women prisoners with children, quality of food and visitation facilities. The status report should also include details on the medical facilities available at prisons, including provisions for mentally ill inmates.

The court is hearing a suo motu Public Interest Litigation (PIL) registered based on the apex court’s directives. The court indicated that it would pass necessary orders once the government submits the report.

During the hearing, the government advocate reportedly informed the court that six new jails will come up in the state. This will include four central prisons with a capacity of 1,000 inmates. These prisons will come up at Bidar, Bengaluru, Mangaluru and Hassan. He said that Rs 93 crore has been provided in this year’s budget for the purpose.

The Supreme Court had directed high courts to take up the matter through suo motu PILs on May 8, 2018. This direction was given after the top court noticed that jails across the country are overcrowded. Some jails are running at 150% capacity. The state governments had shown little interest to recruit staff.

The registrar general of the Karnataka high court had filed a suo motu petition seeking action on the issue of overcrowded prisons and the pending vacancies of prison staff. This was done following Supreme Court’s orders.