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SC for CAG audit of expenses incurred on inmates by states

NEW DELHI: There is a “huge discrepancy” in expenses incurred on jail inmates by various states, the Supreme Court has said and asked the Home Ministry to come out with a scheme to audit spendings by prisons with CAG’s assistance.

The apex court said auditing of these accounts was necessary to ascertain whether the money was being spent “wisely” and being utilised for the benefit of prisoners.

A three-judge bench headed by Justice M B Lokur referred to the discrepancies, particularly in 2015-2016, as pointed out by the amicus curiae.

As per the data, the expense per inmate in jails in Bihar was Rs 83,691 per annum, while that in Rajasthan was only about Rs 3,000 per annum. Similarly, in Nagaland, it stood at about Rs 65,468 per annum, while in Punjab, it was around Rs 16,669, it noted.

“There is a huge discrepancy in this regard which needs to be looked into. It may also perhaps be necessary to have the accounts audited to ascertain whether the money is being spent wisely and whether it is being utilised for the benefit of the prisoners or not,” the bench, also comprising Justices P C Pant and Deepak Gupta, said. (AGENCIES)

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