HC denies extension of interim bail, orders 3,499 prisoners to surrender

The Delhi High Court has directed 3,499 undertrial prisoners, who were granted interim bail to decongest jails here amid the COVID-19 pandemic, to surrender on expiry of their bail period.

The court’s order, passed on March 3 and made available on Saturday, was based on the recommendation of a high-powered committee (HPC) constituted on the direction of the Supreme Court to decongest prisons to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

‘Not inclined’

A Bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Talwant Singh said it was “not inclined” to further extend the period of interim bail granted to the undertrial prisoners under various criteria laid down by the committee in its several meetings.

“It is therefore directed that all the 3,499 undertrial prisoners granted interim bails under the various criteria laid down by the HPC, who have not obtained regular bails from their court concerned, or any other superior court to its court concerned, shall surrender before the jail superintendent upon the expiry of the period of their interim bail commencing from March 7,” the Bench said in its order.

It added that as these prisoners were granted interim bails on different dates, their bail period will expire with efflux of time on different dates and there was no requirement to fix any specific date for their surrender.

The High Court considered the observations and recommendations made by the committee, the improved COVID-19 situation in Delhi-NCR and the resolution passed by the high-powered committee on February 17 of not recommending further extension of interim bails to 3,499 undertrial prisoners.

It also took into consideration the March 1 directions of the Supreme Court whereby 2,318 prisoners granted interim bail by trial courts and 356 prisoners granted bail by the High Court have been asked to surrender within 15 days.

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Printable version | Apr 15, 2021 1:24:25 PM |

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