The Transfer of Prisoners Act, 1950

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An Act no. 29 of the year 1950 was enacted by the Parliament of India by short titling the same as the Transfer of Prisoners Act, 1950. The Act makes provisions as to removal of prisoners from one State to another. The Act has received the assent of the President of India on 12th day of April, 1950. The Act basically provided with the object to make law on the issue of transfer of persons confined in the prisons which are in the States of Part A, C and D as per First Schedule of the Constitution of India, to the prisons of Part B States thereof and vice versa. There was provisions being Section 29 of the Prisoners Act, 1900 as to transfer of Prisoners from one state to another, however, the said transfer is restricted between the Part A, C and D States only and the said Act of 1900 or even any other law of that time, was not providing any such provisions as to transfer of prisoners from or to the States comprising Part B States. The said was considered administratively necessary and desirable and as such, the Bill in connection to the present Act was moved further for making such provisions. The Act was extended to the entire Indian territories. Also the provisions of this Act extended to the territories of the District of Kohim and the Distrcit of Mokokchung with effect from 16th day of August, 1961, by the Kohim and Mokokchung Districts (Transfer of Prisoners) Regulation, 1961 (Act no. 7 of 1961). Further, by the Act no. 26 of 1966 the extension was made to the Union Territory of Pondicherry, with effect from 1st day of March, 1969 and again to the Union Territory of Goa, Daman and Diu and the Union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and also to the Sikkim. However, it was found that the extension of this Act was originally restricted in relation to the State of Jammu and Kashmir, but by the Central Laws (Extension to Jammu and Kashmir) Act, 1968, the said restriction was removed.

The Act clears the intension of legislature behind enacting the same, within its sections which are very few in number. The first provision i.e. relating to the basic provisions like, short titling of the Act, its extension, etc. as foresaid. Secondly, the provisions of section 2 of the Act sought to define several important terms which are expressly used under various provisions thereof. Such terms includes the Court which here for the purpose of this Act includes, other officers also who are exercising Civil, Criminal or even Revenue jurisdiction lawfully. Secondly, it sought to provide explain the term ‘Government’ and ‘State Government’ which under this Act means and includes Administrator of the Union territories in relation thereof. And, finally, the term Prison which here in the context of this Act including the place which was declared by the State Government concerned as Subsidiary Jail by its order either general or special.

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Further, the most important provisions, connecting very closely, to the main purpose of this Act are contained under section 3 of the Act, where it is provided for removal and transfer from one State to another State a person who is confined in the prisons thereof suffering death sentence, etc. The State Government of the concerned State can transfer such prisoners with the prior consent of that another concerned State Government, to which State the same prisoner will be transferred or removed. Further, the Prisons’ officer in- charge should receive and confine such removed prisoner under this Act.

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by Faim Khalilkhan Pathan.