11,000 prisoners to be released on parole or furlough to reduce overcrowding

Home Minister Anil Deshmukh has ordered the release of about 11,000 convicts and undertrials imprisoned for offences with punishment up to seven years or less (with or without fine) on emergency parole or furlough to reduce overcrowding.

In a meeting with the top police brass, Mr. Deshmukh ordered the logistics and modalities to be completed within a week. He said, “We are also looking at undertrials being given bail or even a full release to those who have completed longer terms in prison than the prescribed punishment.”

The State has 60 jails with over 36,000 inmates. The nine Central prisons (Mumbai, Thane, Kharghar, Nashik, Pune, Aurangabad, Kalamba, Amravati and Nagpur) are most crowded and the Home Ministry has already asked for the inmates to be shuffled to reduce overcrowding, especially in Mumbai’s Arthur Road Jail. Many had red-flagged this as a potential flashpoint for a rapid spread of COVID-19.

The Supreme Court is seized of a suo moto petition to prevent outbreak and rapid spread of COVID-19 in prisons due to overcrowding, The Home Department had appointed a high powered committee comprising the chairperson of the State Legal Services Committee, Principal Secretary (Home) and DG (Prisons) to determine which class of prisoners can be released on parole or interim bail. Thursday’s meeting led to a finalisation of this decision.

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 1:33:22 AM |

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