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The Prison administration in India usually faces several challenges in prison management even during the normal times. These challenges got aggravated during the ongoing pandemic COVID-19. One of the main challenges has been the overcrowding in prisons in India. The Supreme Court of India (SC) took suo-moto cognizance of the issue of overcrowding in prisons during the pandemic and considered the situation that the prison inmates were at a high risk of transmission of COVID-19 virus due to the high rate of ingress and egress, in prisons. Thus, the Supreme Court directed the state governments to constitute a High Power Committee (HPC) and identify the prisoners including undertrials who could be released on interim bail or parole. The authors of this research paper have undertaken a study of the issue of overcrowding in Indian prisons in pre COVID-19 times and finding out if the overcrowding actually reduced in the last one year during the ongoing pandemic in view of the SC order. The authors have also explored and an alysed the reasons behind such high overcrowding in India Prisons and have made some suggestions to overcome these in future.

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