‘Reply to pleas seeking vaccination of prisoners’

The Delhi High Court on Monday asked the AAP government to reply to petitions seeking vaccination of all the prisoners, who were out on bail or parole, before they surrender so as to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection inside prisons.

A Bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh asked the Delhi government to give its stand on the pleas by March 26, the next date of hearing. The court asked the government to take action on the issue immediately and reflect it on the affidavit.

Delhi government Standing Counsel (Criminal) Rahul Mehra said there has been “no outbreak of COVID-19 in the jails”.

The High Court remarked that the pleas appeared to be an excuse to keep the prisoners, who were out on bail, parole or furlough, out for a longer duration.

In a separate case, the High Court asked the AAP government, prison authorities and Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA) to respond to a plea seeking extension of emergency parole to prisoners above the age of 65 and prone to COVID-19 infection due to certain ailments and medical condition.

Advocate Amit Sahni, in his plea, pleaded that aged prisoners be directed to surrender after all others prisoners. Mr. Sahni said social distancing is not feasible in jails as they are already overcrowded and the prisons have been extremely affected by the pandemic.

The plea said Delhi jails have a capacity to retain 10,026 prisoners and presently around 14,000 inmates are already lodged there, excluding around 4,000 of them who were released on interim bail or emergency parole.

“The situation in Delhi jails is not such that one room/barrack can be provided to each infected prisoner because a number of inmates are lodged together in a single barrack/room,” the plea said.

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Printable version | Mar 5, 2021 7:10:46 AM |

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