Prison Act,1894

Prison Act,1894

[22nd March, 1894]

An Act to amend the law relating to prisons.

WHEREAS it is expedient to amend the law relating to prisons in 2[India except the territories which, immediately before the 1st November, 1956, were comprised in Part B States], and to provide rules for the regulation of such prison ; It is hereby enacted as follows :—


1.Amendment in its application to

(1) The Province of Madras by —

(i) The Prisons and Indian Lunacy (Madras Amendment) Act, 1938 (Mad. Act 14 of 1938)

(ii) The Prisons (Madras Amendment) Act, 1940 (Mad.Act 5 of 1940)

(iii) The Prisons (Madras Amendment) Act, 1947 (Mad.Act 18of 1947); ad

(iv) The Prisons (Madras Amendment) No.II Act, 1947 (Mad.Act 19 of 1947)

(2) The Punjab by s.2 of the Prisons (Punjab Amendment) Act, 1926 (Punjab Act 9 of 1926)

(3) Part (in West Bengal ) by West Bengal Act 7 of 1948.

2. Subs. by the Adaptation of Laws (No.2) Order, 1956 for “Part A States and Part C States”.

Section 1. Title, extent and commencement

(1) This Act may be called the Prisons Act, 1894

1[(2) It extends to the whole of India except 2[the territories which, immediately before the 1st November, 1956, were comprised in Part B States];] and

(3) It shall come into force on the first day of July, 1894.

(4) Nothing in this Act shall apply to civil jails in the 3[State] of Bombay 4[as it existed immediately before the 1st November, 1956] outside the city of Bombay, and those jails shall continue to be administered under the provisions of sections 9 and 16 (both inclusive) of Bombay Act 2 of 1874, as amended by subsequent enactment.


1. Subs. by the A.O.1950.

2. Subs. by the Adaptation of Laws (N0.2) Order, 1956 for “Part B States”.

3. Subs. by the A.O.1950 for “province” which was sub by the A.O.1948 for “presidency”

4. The Civil Jails Act, 1874.

Section 2. Repeal

Rep. by the Repealing Act, 1938 (1 of 1938), s.2 and Sch.

Section 3. Definitions

In this Act —

(1) “Prison” means any jail or place used permanently or temporality under the general or special orders of a State Government for the detention of prisoners, and includes all lands and buildings appurtenant thereto, but does not include —

(a) Any place for the confinement of prisoners who are exclusively in the custody of the police ;

(b) Any place specially appointed by the State Government under section 541 of the 1Code of Criminal Procedure 1882(10 of 1882); or (c) Any place which has been declared by the State Government, by general or special order, to be a subsidiary jail;

(2) “Criminal prisoner” means any prisoner duly committed to custody under the writ, warrant or order of any Court or authority exercising criminal jurisdiction, or by order of a Court-martial;

(3) “Convicted criminal prisoner” means any criminal prisoner under sentence of a Court or Court-martial, and includes a person detained in prison under the provisions of Chapter VIII of the 1Code of Criminal Procedure, 1882, (10 of 1882) or under the 2Prisoners Act, 1871 (5 of 1871):

(4) “Civil prisoner” means any prisoner who is not a criminal prisoner:

(5) “Remission system” means the rules for the time being in force regulating the award of marks to, and the consequent shortening of, prisoners in Jail :

(6) “History-ticket” means the ticket exhibiting such information as is required in respect of each prisoner by this Act or the rules thereunder:

(7) “Inspector General” means the Inspector General of Prisons:

(8) “Medical Subordinate” means and Assistant Surgeon, Apothecary or qualified Hospital Assistant: and

(9) “Prohibited article” means an article the introduction or removal of which into or out of a prison is prohibited by any rule under this Act.


1. See now the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (5 of 1898).

2. See now the Prisoners Act, 1900 (3 of 1900).

Section 4. Accommodation for prisoners

The State Government shall provide, for the prisoners in the territories under such Government, accommodation in prisons constructed and regulated in such manner as to comply with the requisitions of this Act in respect of the separation of prisoners.

Section 5. Inspector General

An Inspector General shall be appointed for the territories subject to each State Government, and shall exercise, subject to the orders of the State Government, the general control and superintendent of all prisons situated in the territories under such Government.

Section 6. Officers of prisons

For every prison there shall be a Superintendent, a Medical Officer (who may also be the Superintendent), a Medical Subordinate, a Jailer and such other officers as the State Government thinks necessary:

Provided that 1[the State Government of Bombay] may2 declare by order in writing that in any prison specified in the order the office of Jailer shall be held by the person appointed to be Superintendent.


1. Subs. by the A.O.1937 for “the Governor of Bombay in Council”.

2. The words “with the previous sanction of the C.” omitted, ibid.

Section 7. Temporary accommodation for prisoners

Whenever it appears to the Inspector General that the number of prisoners in any prison is greater than can conveniently or safely be kept therein, and it is not convenient to transfer the excess number to some other prison.

Or whenever from the outbreak of epidemic disease within any prison, or for any other reason, it is desirable to provide for the temporary shelter and safe custody of any prisoners,

Provision shall be made, by such officer and in such manner as the State Government may direct, for the shelter and safe custody in temporary prisons of so many of the prisoners as cannot be conveniently or safely kept in the prison.

Section 8. Control and duties of officers of prisons

All officers of a prison shall obey the directions of the Superintendent ; all officers subordinate to the Jailer shall perform such duties as may be imposed on them by the Jailer with the sanction of the Superintendent or be prescribed by rules section 1[59].


1. Subs. by the A.O.for “60”.

Section 9. Officers not to have business dealings with prisoners

No officer of a prison shall sell or let, nor shall any person in trust for or employed by him sell or let, or derive any benefit from selling or letting, any article to any prisoner or have any money or other business dealings directly or indirectly, with any prisoner.

Section 10. Officers not to be interested in prison- contracts

No officers of a prison shall, any person in trust for or employed by him, have any interest, direct of indirect, in any contract for the supply of the prison : nor shall he drive any benefit, directly or indirectly, from the sale or purchase of any article on behalf of the prison or belonging to a prisoner.

Section 11. Superintendent

(1) Subject to the orders of the Inspectors General, the Superintendent shall manage the prison in all matters relating to discipline, labour, expenditure, punishment and control.

(2) Subject to such general or special directions as May be given by the State Government, the Superintendent of a prison other than a central prison or a prison situated in a presidency-town shall obey all orders not inconsistent with this Act or any rule thereunder which may be given respecting the prison by the District Magistrate, and shall report to the Inspector General all such orders and the action taken thereon.

Section 12. Records to be kept by Superintendent

The Superintendent shall kept or cause to be kept, the following records :–

(1) A register of prisoners admitted ;

(2) A book showing when each prisoner is to be released ;

(3) A punishment-book for the entry of the punishments inflicted on prisoners for prison-offences ;

(4) A visitors’ book for the entry of any observations made by the visitors touching any matters connected with the administration of the prison ;

(5) A record of the money and other articles taken from prisoners ;

And all such other records as may be prescribed by rules under section 1[59].


1. The words and figures “or s.60″ omitted by the A.O.1937.

Section 13. Duties of Medical Officer

Subject to the control of the Superintendent, the Medical Officer shall have charge of the sanitary administration of the prison, and shall perform such 1duties as may be prescribed by rules made by the State Government under section 2[59].


1. For rules as to Medical Officer’s duties under s.13, see different local Rules and Orders.

2. Subs. by the A.O.1937 for “60”.

Section 14. Medical Officer to report in certain cases

Whenever the Medical Officer has reason to believe that the mind of a prisoner is, or is likely to be, injuriously affected by the discipline or treatment to which he is subjected, the Medical Officer shall report the case in writing to the Superintendent, together with such observations as he may think proper.

This report, with the orders of the Superintendent thereon, shall forthwith be sent to the Inspector general for information.

Section 15. Report on death of prisoner

On the death of any prisoner, the Medical Officer shall forthwith record in a register the following particulars, so far as they can be ascertained, namely :–

(1) The day on which the deceased first complained of illness or was observed to be ill,

(2) The labour, if any, on which he was engaged on that day,

(3) The scale of his diet on that day,

(4) The day on which he was admitted to hospital,

(5) The day on which the Medical Officer was first informed of the illness,

(6) The nature of the disease,

(7) When the deceased was last seen before his death by the Medical Officer or Medical Subordinate,

(8) When the prisoner died, and

(9) (in cases where a post-mortem examination is made) an account of the appearances after death, together with any special remarks that appear to the Medical Officer to be required.

Section 16. Jailer

(1) The Jailer shall reside in the prison, unless the Superintendent permits him in writing to reside elsewhere.

(2) The Jailer shall not, without the Inspector General’s sanction in writing, be concerned in any other employment.

Section 17. Jailer to give notice of death of prisoner

Upon the death of a prisoner, the Jailer shall give immediate notice thereof to the Superintendent and the Medical Subordinate.

Section 18. Responsibility of Jailer

The Jailer shall be responsible for the safe custody of the records to be kept under section 12, for the commitment warrants and all other documents confided to his care, and for the money and other articles taken from prisoners.

Section 19. Jailer to be present at night

The Jailer shall not be absent from the prison for a night without permission in writing from the Superintendent; but, if absent without leave for a night from unavoidable necessity, he shall immediately report the fact and the cause of it to the Superintendent.

Section 20. Powers of Deputy and Assistant Jailers

Where a Deputy Jailer or Assistant Jailer is appointed to a prison, he shall, subject to the orders of the Superintendent, be competent to perform any of the duties and be subject to all the responsibilities, of a Jailer this Act or any rule thereunder.

Section 21. Duties of gate-keeper

The officer acting as gate-keeper, or any other officer of the prison, may examine anything carried in or out of the prison, and may stop an search or cause to be searched any person suspected of bringing any prohibited article into or out of the prison, or of carrying out any property belonging to the prison, and, if any such article or property be found, shall give immediate notice thereof to the Jailer.

Section 22. Subordinate officers not to be absent without leave

Officers subordinate to the Jailer shall not be absent from the prison without leave from the Superintendent or from the Jailer.

Section 23. Convict officers

Prisoners who have been appointed as officers or prisons shall be deemed to be public servants within the meaning of the Indian Penal Code.(45 of 1860.)

Section 24. Prisoners to be examined on admission

(1) Whenever a prisoner is admitted into prison, he shall be searched, and all weapons and prohibited articles shall be taken from him.

(2) Every criminal prisoner shall also, as soon as possible after admission, be examined under the general or special orders of the Medical Office, who shall enter or cause to be entered in a book, to be kept by the Jailer, a record of the state of the prisoner’s health, and of any wounds or marks on his person, the class of labour he is fit for it sentenced to rigorous imprisonment, and any observation which the Medical Officer thinks fit to add.

(3) In the case of female prisoners the search and examination shall be carried our by the matron under the general or special orders of the Medical Officer.

Section 25. Effects of prisoners

All money or other articles in respect whereof no order of a competent Court has been made, and which may with proper authority be brought into the prison by any criminal prisoner of sent to the prison for his use, shall be placed in the custody of the Jailer.

Section 26. Removal and discharge of prisoners

(1) All prisoners, previously to being removed to any other prison, shall be examined by the Medical Officer.

(2) No prisoner shall be removed from one prison to another unless Medical Officer certifies that the prisoner is free from any illness rendering him unfit for removal.

(3) No prisoner shall be discharged against his will from prison, if labouring under any acute or dangerous distemper, nor until, in the opinion of the Medical Officer, such discharge is safe.

Section 27. Separation of prisoners

The requisitions of this Act with respect to the separation of prisoners are as follows :–

(1) In a prison containing female as well as male prisoners, the females shall be imprisoned in separate buildings, or separate parts of the same building, in such manner as to prevent their seeing, or conversing or holding any intercourse with, the male prisoners.

(2) In a prison where male prisoners under the age of 1[twenty-one] are confined, means shall be provided for separation them altogether from the other prisoners and for spearing those of them who have arrived at the age of puberty from those who have not :

(3) Unconverted criminal prisoners shall be kept apart from convicted criminal prisoners ; and

(4) Civil prisoners shall be kept apart from criminal prisoners.


1. Subs by Act of 1930, s.2 for “eighteen”.

Section 28. Association and segregation of prisoners

Subject to the requirements of the last foregoing section, convicted criminal prisoners may be confined either in association or individually in cells or partly in one way and party in the other.

Section 29. Soldiery confinement

No cell shall be used for solitary confinement unless it is furnished with the means of enabling the prisoner to communicate at any time with an officer of the prison, and every prisoner so confined in a cell for more than twenty-four hours, whether as a punishment or otherwise, shall be visited at least once a day by the Medical Officer or Medical Subordinate.

Section 30. Prisoners under sentence of death

(1) Every prisoner under sentence of death shall, immediately on his arrival in the prison after sentence, be searched by, or by order of, the Jailer and all articles shall be taken from him which the Jailer deems it dangerous or inexpedient to leave in his possession.

(2) Every such prisoner shall be confined in a cell apart from all other prisoners, and shall be placed by day and by night under the charge of a guard.

Section 31. 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 source at proper hours, food, clothing, bedding or other necessaries, but subject to examination and to such rules as may be approved by the Inspector General.

Section 32. Restriction on transfer of food and clothing between certain prisoners

No part of any food, clothing, bedding or the necessaries belonging to any civil or unconvicted criminal prisoner shall be given, hired or sold to any other prisoner ; and any prisoner transgressing the provisions of this section shall lose the privilege of purchasing food or receiving it from private sources, for such time as the Superintendent thinks proper.

Section 33. Supply of clothing and bedding to civil and unconvicted criminal prisoners

(1) Every civil prisoner and unconvicted criminal prisoner unable to provide himself with sufficient clothing and bedding shall be supplied by the Superintendent with such clothing and bedding as may be necessary.

(2) When any civil prisoner has been committed to prison in execution of a decree in favour of a private person, such person, or his representative, shall, within forty-eight hours after the receipt by him of a demand in writing, pay to the Superintendent the cost of the clothing and bedding so supplied to the prisoner; and in default of such payment the prisoner may be released.

Section 34. Employment of civil prisoners

(1) Civil prisoners may, with the Superintendent’s permission, work and follow any trade or profession.

(2) Civil prisoners finding their own implements, and not maintained at the expense of the prison, shall be allowed to receive the whole of their earnings ; but the earnings o such as are furnished with implements or are maintained at the expense of the prison shall be subject to a deduction, to be determined by the Superintendent, for the use of implements and the cost of maintenance.

Section 35. Employment of criminal prisoners

(1) No criminal prisoner sentenced to labour or employed on labour at his own desire shall, except on a emergency with the sanction in writing of the Superintendent, be kept to labour for more than nine hours in any one day.

(2) The Medical Officer shall from time to time examine the labouring prisoners while they are employed and shall at lease once in every fortnight cause to be recorded upon the history-ticket of each prisoner employed on labour the weight of such prisoner at he time.

(3) When the Medical Officer is of opinion that the health of any prisoner suffers from employment on any kind or class of labour, such prisoner shall not be employed on that labour but shall be placed on such other kind or class of labour as the Medical Officer may consider suited for him.

Section 36. Employment of criminal prisoners sentenced to simple imprisonment

Provisions shall be made by the Superintendent for the employment (as long as they so desire) of all Criminal prisoners sentenced to simple imprisonment; but no prisoner not sentenced to rigorous imprisonment shall be punished for neglect of work excepting by such alteration in the scale of diet as may be established by the rules of the prison in the case of neglect of work by such a prisoner.

Section 37. Sick prisoners

(1) The names of prisoners desiring to see the Medical Subordinate or appearing our of health in mind or body shall, without delay, be reported by the officer in immediate charge of such prisoners to the Jailer.

(2) The Jailer shall, without delay, call the attention of the Medical Subordinate to any prisoners desiring to see him, or who is ill, is whose state of mind or body appears to require attention, and shall carry into effect all written directions given by the Medical Officer or Medical Subordinate respecting alteration of the discipline or treatment of any such prisoner.

Section 38. Record of directions of Medical Officer

All directions given by the Medical Officer or Medical Subordinate in relation to any prisoners, with the exception of orders for the supply of medicines or directions relating to such matters as are carried into effect by the Medical Officer himself or under his superintendence, shall be entered day be day ion the prisoner’s history-ticket or in such other record as the State Government may by rule direct, and the Jailer shall make an entry in its proper place stating in respect of each direction the fact of its having been or not having been complied with, accompanied by such observations, if any, as the Jailer thinks fit to make, and the date of the entry

Section 39. Hospital

In every prison an hospital or proper place for the reception of sick prisoners shall be provided.

Section 40. Visits to civil and unconvicted criminal prisoners

Due provisions shall be made the admission, at proper times and under proper restrictions, into every prison of persons with whom civil or unconvicted criminal prisoners may desire to communicate, care being taken that so far may be consistent with the interests of justice, prisoners under trial may see their duly qualified legal advisers without the presence of any other person.

Section 41. Search of visitors

(1) The Jailer may demand the name and address of any visitor to a prisoner, and, when the Jailer has nay ground for suspicion, may search any visitor, or cause him to be searched, but the search shall not be made in the presence of any prisoner or of another visitor.

(2) In case of any such visitor refusing to permit himself to be searched, the Jailer may deny him admission; and the grounds of such proceeding, with the particulars thereof shall be entered in such record as the State Government may direct.

Section 42. Penalty for introduction removal of prohibited articles into or from prison and communication with prisoner

Whoever, contrary to any rule under section 1[59] introduces or removes or attempts by any means whatever to introduce or remove into or from any prison, or supplies or attempts to supply to any prisoner outside the limits of a prison, any prohibited article.

And every officer of a prison who, contrary to any such rule, knowingly suffers any such article to be introduce into or removed from any prison, to be possessed by any prisoner, or to be supplied to any prisoner outside the limits of a prison.

And whoever, contrary to any such rule, communicates or attempts to communicate with any prisoner.

And whoever abets any offence made punishable by this section,

Shall, on conviction before a Magistrate, be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to fine not exceeding two hundred rupees, or to both.


1. Subs. by the A.O.1937, for “60”.

Section 43. Power to arrest for offence under section 42

When any person in the presence of any officer of a prison, commits any offence specified in the last foregoing section and refuses on demand of such officer to state his name and residence, or gives a name or residence which such officer knows, or has reason to believe, to be false, such officer may arrest him, and shall without unnecessary delay make him over to a Police-officer, and there upon such Police-officer shall proceed as if the offence has been committed in his presence.

Section 44. Publication of penalties

The Superintendent shall cause to be affixed, in a conspicuous place outside the prison, a notice in English and the Vernacular setting forth the acts prohibited under section 42 and the penalties incurred by their commission.

Section 45. Prison-offences

The following acts are declared to be prison-offences when committed by a prisoner :–

(1) Such wilful disobedience to any regulation of the prison as shall have been declared by rules made under section 59 to be a prison-offence;

(2) Any assault or use of criminal force;

(3) The use of insulting or threatening language;

(4) Immoral or indecent or disorderly behaviour;

(5) Wilfully disabling himself from labour;

(6) Contumaciously refusing to work;

(7) Filing cutting altering or removing handcuffs, fetters or bars without due authority;

(8) Wilful idleness or negligence at work by any prisoner sentenced to rigorous imprisonment;

(9) Wilful mismanagement of work by any prisoner sentenced to rigorous imprisonment;

(10) Wilful damage to prison-property;

(11) Tampering with or defacing history-tickets, records or documents;

(12) Receiving possessing or transferring any prohibited article;

(13) Feigning illness;

(14) Wilfully bringing a false accusation against any officer or prisoner;

(15) Omitting or refusing to report, as soon as it comes to his knowledge, the occurrence of any fire, any plot or conspiracy, any escape, attempt or preparation to escape, and any attack or preparation for attack upon any prisoner or prison-official; and

(16) Conspiring to escape, or to assist in escaping, to commit any other of the offences aforesaid.

Section 46. Punishment of such offences

1The Superintendent may examine any person touching any such offence, and determine thereupon, and punish such offence by–

(1) A formal warning :

Explanation.-A formal warning shall mean a warning personally addressed to a prisoner by the Superintendent and recorded in the punishment-book and on the prisoner’s history-ticket ;

(2) Change of labour to some more irksome or serve form 2[for such period as may be prescribed by rules made by the 3[State Government]];

(3) Hard labour for a period not exceeding seven days in the case of convicted criminal prisoners not sentenced to rigorous imprisonment;

(4) Such loss of privileges admissible under the remission system for the time being in force as may be prescribed by rules made by the 3[State Government];

(5) The substitution of gunny or other coarse fabric for clothing of other material, not being woollen, for a period which shall not exceed three months;

(6) Imposition of handcuffs of such pattern and weight in such manner and for such period, as may be prescribed by rules made by the 3[State Government];

(7) Imposition of fetters of such pattern and weight, in such manner and for such period, as may be prescribed by rules made by the 3[State Government];

(8) Separate confinement for any period not exceeding 4[three] months;

Explanation.-Separate confinement means such confinement with or without labour as secludes a prisoner from communication with, but from sight of, other prisoners, and allows him not less than one hour’s exercise per diem and to have his meals in association with one or more other prisoners ;

(9) Penal diet,–that is, restriction of diet in such manner and subject to such conditions regarding labour as may be prescribed by the State Government :

Provided that such restriction of diet shall in no case been applied to a prisoner for more than ninety-six consecutive hours, and shall not be repeated except for a fresh offence nor until after an interval of one week;

(10) Cellular confinement for any period not exceeding fourteen days:

Provide that after each period of cellular confinement an interval of not less duration than such period must elapse before the prisoner is again sentenced to cellular or solitary confinement ;

Explanation.—Cellar confinement means such confinement with or without labour as entirely means such from communication with, but not from sight of, other prisoners ;

5[(11) penal diet as defined in clause (9) combined with 7[cellular] confinement6

5[(12) whipping provided that the number of stripes shall not exceed thirty :

Provided that nothing in this section shall render any female or civil prisoner liable to the imposition of any form of handcuffs fetes or to whipping.


1. For rules issued with reference to clauses (4), (6) and (7) of section 46 see Gazette of India 1923, Pt.I, p.1751.

2. Ins. by Act 17 of 1925, s.2.

3. Subs. by the A.O.1937, for ” C.”

4. Subs. by Act 17 of 1925, s.2 for “six”.

5. Original cl.(11) was rep. and cls (12) and (13) renumbered as (11) and (12) respectively, by Act 17 of 1925, s.2.

6. The words “as defined in cl.(11)” rep. by s.2, ibid.

7. Subs .by s.2, ibid., for “solitary”.

Section 47. Plurality of punishment, under section 46

1[(1)] Any two of the punishments enumerated in the last foregoing section may be awarded for any such offence in combination, subject to he following exceptions, namely :–

(1) Formal warning shall not be combined with any the punishment except loss of privileges under clause (4) of that section;

(2) Penal diet shall not be combined with change of labour under clause (2) of that section, nor shall any additional period of penal diet awarded singly be combined with any period of penal diet awarded in combination with 2[cellular] confinement;

3[(3) Cellular confinement shall not be combined with separate confinement, so as to prolong the total period of seclusion to which the prisoner shall be liable;]

(4) Whipping shall not be combined with any the form of punishment except cellar 4[and] separate confinement and loss of privileges admissible under the remission system;

5[(5) No punishment will been combined with any other punishment in contravention of rules made by the 6[State Government].]

7[(2) No punishment shall be awarded for any such offence so as to combine, with the punishment awarded for any other such offence, two of the punishments which may not be awarded in combination for any such offence.]


1. The original s.47 as was renumbered s.47 (1) by s.3 ibid.

2. Subs. by s.3, ibid., for “solitary”.

3. Subs. by s.3, ibid., for the original exception (3).

4. Subs. by Act 10 of 1914, s.2 and Sch.I, for “or”.

5. Ins. by Act 17 of 1925, s.3.

6. Subs. by the A.O.1937, for “ C.”

7. Ins. by Act 17 of 1925, s.3.

Section 48. Award of punishments under section 46 and 47

(1) The Superintendent shall have power to award any of the punishments renumbered in the two last foregoing sections, subject, in the case of separate confinement for a period exceeding one month, to the previous confirmation of the Inspector General.

(2) No officer subordinate to the Superintendent shall have power to award any punishment whatever.

Section 49. Punishments to be in accordance with foregoing sections

Except by order of a Court of Justice, no punishment other than the punishments specified in the foregoing sections shall be inflicted on any prisoner, and no punishment shall be inflicted on any prisoner otherwise than in accordance with the provisions of those sections.

Section 50. Medical Officer to certify to fitness of prisoner for punishment

(1) No punishment of penal diet, either singly or in combination, or of whipping, or of change of labour under section 46, clause (2), shall be executed until the prisoner to whom such punishment has been awarded has been examined by the Medical Officer, who, if he considers the prisoner fit to undergo the punishment, shall certify accordingly in the appropriate column of the punishment-book prescribed in section 12.

(2) If he considers the prisoner unfit to undergo the punishment, he shall I like manner record his opinion in writing and shall state whether the prisoner is absolutely unfit for punishment of the kind warded, or whether he considers any modification necessary.

(3) In the latter case he shall state what extent of punishment he thinks the prisoner can undergo without injury to his health.

Section 51. Entries in punishment-books

(1) In the punishment-book prescribed in section 12 there shall be recorded, in respect of every punishment inflicted, the prisoner’s name, register number and the class (whether habitual or not) to which he belongs, the prison-offence of which he was guilty, the date on which such prison-offence was committed, the number of previous prison-offences recorded against the prisoner, and the date of his last prison-offence, the punishment awarded, and the date on infliction.

(2) In the case of every serious prison-offence, the names of the witness proving the offence shall be recorded, and in the case of offences for which whipping is awarded, the Superintendent shall record the substance of the evidence, of the witnesses, the defence of the prisoner, and the finding with the reasons therefor.

(3) Against the entries relating to each punishment the Jailer and Superintendent shall affix their initials as evidence of the correctness of the entries.

Section 52. Procedure on committal of heinous offence

If any prisoner is guilty of any offence against prison-discipline which, be reason of his having frequently committed such offences or otherwise, in the opinion of the Superintendent, is not adequately punishable by the infliction of any punishment which he has power under this Act to award, the Superintendent may for ward such prisoner to the Court of the District Magistrate or of any Magistrate of the first class 1[or Presidency Magistrate] having jurisdiction, together with a statement f the circumstances, and such Magistrate shall thereupon inquire into and try the charge so brought against the prisoner, and, upon conviction, may sentence him to imprisonment which may extend to on year, such term to be in addition to any term for which such prisoner was undergoing imprisonment when he committed such offence or may sentence him to any of the punishments enumerated in section 46 :

2[Provided that any such case may be transferred for inquiry and trial by the District Magistrate to any Magistrate of the first class and by a Chief Presidency Magistrate to any other Presidency Magistrate: and]

Provided also that no person shall be punished twice for the same offence.


1. Ins. by Act 13 of 1910, s.2.(1).

2. Subs. by s.(2), ibid., for the original proviso.

Section 53. Whipping

(1) No punishment of whipping shall be inflicted in instalments, or except in the presence of the Superintendent and Medical Officer of Medical Subordinate.

(2) Whipping shall be inflicted with a light ratan not less than half an inch in diameter on the buttocks, and in case of prisoners under the age of sixteen it shall be inflicted, in the way of school discipline, with a lighter ratan.

Section 54. Offences by person subordinates

(1)Every Jailer or officer of a prison subordinate to him who shall be guilty of any violation of duty or wilful breach or neglect of any rule or regulation or lawful order made by competent authority, or who shall withdraw from the duties of his office without permission, or without having given previous notice in writing of his intention for the period of two months, or who shall wilfully overstay any leave granted to him, or who shall engage without authority in any employment other than his prison-duty, or who shall be guilty of cowardice, shall be liable, on conviction before a Magistrate, to fine not exceeding two hundred rupees, or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding three months, or to both.

(2) No person shall under this section be punished twice for the same offence.

Section 55. Extramural custody control and employment of prisoners

A prisoner, when being taken to or from any prison in which he may be lawfully confined, or whenever he is working outside of is otherwise beyond the limits of any prison in or under the lawful custody or control of a prison-officer belonging to such prison, shall be deemed to be in prison and shall be subject to all the same incidents as if he were actually in prison.

Section 56. Confinement in irons

Whenever the Superintendent considers it necessary (with reference either to the state of the prison or the character of the prisoners) for the safe custody of any prisoners that they should be confined in irons, he may subject to such rules and instructions as may be laid down by the Inspector General with the sanction of the State Government, so confine them.

Section 57. Confinement of prisoners under sentence of transportation in irons

(1) Prisoners under sentence of transportation may, subject to any rules made under section 1[59], be confined in fetters for the first three months after admission to prison.

(2) Should the Superintendent consider it necessary, either for the safe the Superintendent consider it necessary, either for the safe custody of the prisoner himself or for any other reason, that fetters shall be retained on any such prisoner for more than three months, he shall apply to the Inspector General for sanction to their retention for the period for which he considers their retention necessary, and the Inspector General may sanction such retention accordingly.


1. Subs. by the A.O.1937 for “60”.

Section 58. Prisoners not to be ironed by Jailer except under necessity

No prisoner shall be put in irons or under mechanical restraint by the Jailer of his own authority, except in case of urgent necessity, in which case notice thereof shall be forthwith given to the Superintendent.

Section 59. Power to make rules

1[The State Government may] make rules consistent with this Act–

(1) Defining the acts which shall constitute prison-offences ;

(2) Determining the classification of Superintendent into serious and minor offences ;

(3)In fixing the punishments admissible under this Act which shall be awardable for commission of Superintendent or classes thereof;

(4) Declaring the circumstances in which acts constituting both a Superintendent and an offence under the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860.) may or may not be dealt with as a prison offence ;

(5) For the award of marks and the shortening of sentences ;

(6) Regulating the use of arms against any prisoner or body of prisoners in the case of an outbreak or attempt to escape;

(7) Defining the circumstances and regulating the conditions under which prisoners in danger of death may be released;

2[(8) For the classification of prisons, and description and construction of wards, cells and other places of detention

(9) For the regulation by numbers, length or character of sentences or otherwise, of the prisoners to be confine in each class of prisons;

(10) For the government of prisons and for the appointment of all office appointed under this Act;

(11) As to the food, bedding and clothing of criminal prisoners and of civil prisoners maintained otherwise than at their own cost;

(12) For the employment, instruction and control of convicts within or without prisons;

(13) For defining articles the introduction or removal of which into or out of prisons without due authority is prohibited;

(14) For classifying and prescribing the forms of labour and regulating the periods of rest from labour;

(15) For regulating the disposal of the proceeds of the employment of prisoners;

(16) For regulating the confinement in fetters of prisoners sentenced to transportation;

(17) For the classification and the separation of prisoners;

(18) For regulating the confinement of convicted criminal prisoners under section 38;

(19) For the preparation and maintenance of history-tickets;

(20) For the selection and appointment of prisoners as officers of prisons.

(21) For rewards for good conduct;

(22) For regulating the transfer of prisoners whose term of transportation or imprisonment is about to expire subject, however, to the consent of the State Government of any other State of which a prisoner is to be transferred;

(23) For the treatment, transfer and disposal of criminal lunatics or recovered criminal lunatics confined in prisons;

(24) For regulating the transmission of appeal sand petitions from prisoners and their communications with their friends;

(25) For the appointment and guidance of visitors of prisons;

(26) For extending any or all of the proviso of this Act and of the rules thereunder to subsidiary jails or special places of confinement appointed under section 541 of the 3Code of Criminal Procedure, 1882 (10 of 1882.) and to the officers employed, and the prisoners confined therein;

(27) In regard to the admission, custody, employment, dieting, treatment and release of prisoners; and

(28) Generally for carrying into effect the purposes of this Act.]



1. Subs. by the A.O.1937 for “The C. may for any part of British India, and each L.G. with the previous sanction of the C. may for the territories under its administration “.

2. Subs. ibid., for the original cls.(8) and (9).

3. See now the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (5 of 1898).

4. This section has been incorporated with slight modifications in cls.(8) to (27) of s.59.

Section 60. Power of Local Government to make rules

Rep. by the A.O.1937.

Section 61. Exhibition of copies of rules

Copies of rules, under 1[section 59] so far as they affect the government of prisons, shall be exhibited, both in English and in the Vernacular, in some place to which all persons employed within a prison have access.


1. Subs. by the A.O.1937 for “ss.59 and 60″.

Section 62. Exercise of powers of Superintendent and Medical Officer

All or any of the powers and duties conferred and imposed by this Act on a Superintendent or Medical Offer may in his absence be exercised and performed by such other officer as the State Government may appoint in this behalf either by name or by his official designation.



[Enactment’s repealed.]

Rep. by be Repealing Act, 1938 (1 of 1938), s.2 and Sch.



Facebook Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *