B.J. Divan, C.J.
1. The petitioner herein is the prisoner undergoing imprisonment at present in Rajkot District Jail at Rajkot. The petitioner was promoted to the post of night watchman by the jail authorities and subsequently because of an incident which is alleged to have taken place on April 16, 1680 he was demoted from the post of night watchman and reduced to the post of ordinary prisoner. It is also alleged that ten days' remission was cut by the Jail authorities because of the incident which happened on January 16, 1980. No doubt, entries were made in the history ticket of the prisoner, namely, the petitioner herein, regarding the penal ties imposed. We have seen extracts from the history ticket regarding these two incidents. We merely found that the offence alleged to have been committed by the prisoner and the penalties imposed and the signature of the Jail Suprintendent are found in the history ticket. We asked Mr. J.U. Mehta, learned Public Prosecutor, to produce before us the record of the inquiry, if any, made by the Jail Superintendent at the time when each of these two incidents happened but we find that apart from the entries in the history ticket, no other record has been maintained. The version of the then Jail Superintendent, Rajkot District Jail, was that in connection with each of these two incidents the prisoner was asked to give his explanation but he could not give any explanation and there after penalty in each case was imposed.
2. We are not satisfied with the affidavit-in-reply because there is no contemporaneous record showing whether the procedural safeguards which are required to be given because of principles of natural justice were followed in the instant case. There is no contemporaneous record to show whether an explanation of the prisoner was at all asked for and whether the prisoner, the petitioner before us, failed to give any explanation whatsover regarding the allegations made against him. Under these circumstances, we have recommended to the Government through Mr. J.U. Mehta, learned Public Prosecutor, to set aside these two orders of penalty so that after following proper procedure and getting explanation and making a brief note of the material available against him, a proper order can be passed, such order being according to the discretion of the jail authorities.
3. We wish to emphasize at this stage that since penalties are being imposed, it is in the fitness of things that the jail authorities should maintain proper records, though the records may be brief, of what transpired at the time of the inquiry. It is also desirable that penalties to be inflicted on prisoners for breaches of jail discipline should be classified into major and minor penalties so that some summary procedure can be prescribed for minor penalties, and a more elaborate procedure may be prescribed for major penalties.
4. It is also desirable that the Inspector General of Prisons should issue a circular to all authorities in charge of jails in the State of Gujarat so that procedural safeguards are given to the prisoners before penalties are imposed and contemporaneous records are maintained by the jail authorities before penalties are meted out or inflicted on the prisoner concerned for alleged breaches of jail discipline.
5. Mr. Mehta for the respondents states that so far as the present case is concerned, the jail authorities will hold a fresh inquiry and after considering the materials will pass appropriate orders so far as the two incidents, one of January 16, 1980 and the other of April 16, 1980, are concerned.
6. In view of this statement, there is no necessity to pass a formal order quashing and setting aside the two orders passed against the present petitioner. The Special Criminal Application is therefore to betreated as disposed of. Rule is discharged. There will be no order as to costs.