A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said the issue was related to improving the lives of prisoners, but the file regarding the new jail manual had been "moving from table to table" in the past one year.
The new manual is aimed at bringing uniformity in rules and regulations governing the administration of prisons and management of prisoners in Tihar Jail here.
The observation by the bench came after the Delhi government said the manual was awaiting approval of the lieutenant governor, while an official of the Home Department noted the file was before the Law Department.
"It cannot be a five-year project. It is concerned with improving the lives of prisoners," the court said.
The court's observation today came during the hearing of a PIL which had sought quashing of the guidelines that excluded female prisoners from the semi-open and open prisons.
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