‘Prisoners should be released on bail, parole’

A high-powered committee, which was formed on the direction of the Supreme Court to decongest jails to prevent the spread of COVID-19, has recommended that there was a need to release prisoners on interim bail for 90 days or eight-week parole in view of the “alarming” and “threatening” situation of the pandemic in Delhi.

The Committee was informed by DG (Prisons) that against the optimum holding capacity of Delhi Prisons, which is 10,026, there were 19,679 inmates lodged, which is much beyond the holding capacity.

The Committee, headed by Justice Vipin Sanghi, was of the opinion that the actual population inside the jail has not only stressed the administration but has also jeopardized the necessity of observing social distancing, which is the need of the hour to prevent the spread of virus amongst the inmates.

“In a matter of few weeks, this second wave has left everyone gasping for air. It has led everyone struggling to breathe or with asphyxia, which is the most terrifying human experience,” the Committee said.

“Right to Life under Article 21 is the most precious Fundamental Right of every citizen of India. It unconditionally embraces even an undertrial/convict walled off from the society,” the Committee added.

DG (Prisons) has said that on the basis of the criteria set by the Committee, approximately 4,000 undertrial prisoners (UTPs) would be benefited and their release would ease out the jail’s population.

Prisoners, who may be considered for grant of interim bail for 90 days, preferably on ‘Personal Bond’, includes inmates undergoing civil imprisonment, UTPs who are facing trial in a case which prescribes a maximum sentence of seven years or less and senior citizens who are in custody for three months or more and facing trial in a case which prescribes a maximum sentence of 10 years or less.

UTPs, who are suffering from HIV, cancer, chronic kidney dysfunction (UTPs requiring dialysis), Hepatitis B or C, asthma, and TB and are in custody, facing trial in a case which prescribes a maximum sentence of 10 years or less and are not involved in multiple cases, will also get the benefit of interim bail.

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Printable version | Jun 17, 2021 2:45:45 AM |

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