Report No. 40
9. Cumbersome provisions in Prisoners' Act.- Some of the provisions of the Act for securing the attendance of a prisoner in court to give evidence or to stand his trial for an offence were found to be cumbersome. The observance of these provisions resulted in avoidable delay in the trial of criminal cases and in needless detention of prisoners who were already under trial. To mention a few examples, under section 38, where the prisoner was confined in a district other than that in which the court was situate, the order of the court had to be routed through the District Magistrate or the Sub-divisional Magistrate, within whose jurisdiction the prisoner was confined.
Under section 39, where the prisoner was in a Presidency town or in a prison more than 100 miles away, a subordinate court requiring his attendance had to apply to the High Court for making the order, and this order again had to be sent to the officer incharge of the prison through the District Magistrate or Sub-divisional Magistrate concerned. Under section 40, a criminal court (including a High Court) in one province requiring the attendance of a prisoner confined in another province had to approach the Government of that province which could, if it thought fit, direct the temporary removal of the prisoner for the purpose in view.