Plan to extend emergency parole by eight weeks

Proposal floated to prevent virus spread

To prevent the spread of COVID-19 in jails, the Delhi government is planning to further extend the emergency parole granted to convicts for eight weeks.

An order is expected to be issued later this week after the Home Minister’s approval, according to officials.

A total of 1,108 convicts have been released on emergency parole till now, according to official data. The parole period will be counted as part of their sentences.

“You cannot bring back convicts to the jails under these circumstances. So, their emergency parole is going to be extended by another eight weeks. This will be applicable to everyone whose current emergency parole will lapse by July 31,” an official source told The Hindu.

Increased risk

On March 16, the Supreme Court took suo motu cognisance of the risk of COVID-19 spreading within and from overcrowded prisons across India. On March 23, the top court asked the State governments to consider giving parole to those facing up to seven-year jail term to decongest prisons on account of the COVID-19 outbreak. Following the order, the government amended the Delhi Prisons Rules, 2018 and inserted a clause for ‘emergency parole’and started granting paroles of eight weeks each. On May 20, the government issued another notification which said the number of spells (one spell is eight weeks) can be increased if the situation warrants it. Subsequently, they issued an order on May 22 to extend the emergency parole by a period of another eight weeks to convicts released on emergency parole on or before April 30.

The total number of inmates in the 16 jails of the city is still more than their capacity, according to officials.

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Printable version | Jul 5, 2020 10:48:12 PM |

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