Other States

Prisoners released from jails in different states

A view of the Aguada Central Jail in Goa.

A view of the Aguada Central Jail in Goa.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The Supreme Court in March directed all states and Union Territories to constitute high-level committees to consider releasing on parole or interim bail prisoners and undertrials for offences entailing up to seven-year jail term, to decongest prisons in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

3,418 prisoners released from Chhattisgarh jails

As many as 3,418 prisoners, mostly undertrials, were released from jails in Chhattisgarh till May 11 following the Supreme Court’s directives to consider decongesting prisons in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, an official said on Sunday.

The process of granting bail and parole started in the last week of March, he said.

“As many as 1,269 prisoners were released on interim bail, 1,844 on regular bail and 305 on parole till May 11 from 33 jails of the state,” a public relations department official here said.

Besides, 100 prisoners were also released following the completion of their sentences during this period, he said.

A 3-member high-powered committee headed by Chhattisgarh High Court Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra, who is also the executive chairman of State Legal Services Authority, was constituted to look into the number of inmates who can be granted bail or parole to decongest jails, the official said.

State Additional Chief Secretary (Home and Prisons) Subrat Sahoo and Additional Director General (Prisons) Ashok Junenja are the other members of the committee.

Assam releases over 3,550 inmates

Over 3,550 inmates, including 300 lodged in detention camps, have been released from jails across Assam since March to decongest the prisons in the wake of novel Coronavirus pandemic, a senior official said on Sunday.

Of them, around 1,700 prisoners were released following a Supreme Court ruling in the wake of the outbreak of COVID-19, while others got out of jails as per normal legal procedure, Assam Inspector General of Prisons Dasarath Das said.

He said the state’s 31 jails currently house 8,510 inmates against the sanctioned capacity of 8,938.

“We have released a total of 3,577 inmates so far from different jails across the state since the coronavirus crisis emerged in March. This includes 3,161 undertrials, who were released on bail and personal bonds,” he told PTI.

Mr. Das said 101 convicts have been allowed to go home on annual leave, while 15 more were released on parole.

Eligible convicts get 30 days of annual leaves for emergency purposes as per rules.

“We have also released 300 people from detention camps after the Supreme Court order. At present, there are 479 inmates in six detention camps,” the IG said.

“With only 8,510 inmates, we are at a comfortable level now and implementing social distancing norms inside jails. Though we have released a huge number of prisoners, new inmates are coming in regularly. That is why the total number is not going down drastically,” he said.

Citing an example, Mr. Das said 76 prisoners were released on May 15, but 60 new inmates came in on the same day, resulting in only 16 effective releases from jails.

The state has six central jails, 22 district jails, one open-air jail, one special jail and one sub-jail. Besides, there are six detention camps to lodge suspected and declared foreigners.

2,500 prisoners released from Gujarat jails

Nearly 2,500 prisoners have been released from 28 jails across Gujarat so far since the coronavirus outbreak, a senior official said on Sunday.

Prisoners were released on parole, interim bail and furlough to de-congest the overcrowded jails and contain the spread of coronavirus among the inmates, he said.

There were some 14,000 prisoners in various jails of the state, Additional Director General of Police, Prisons, K L N Rao said.

“We have released nearly2,500 prisoners as per the Supreme Court’s guidelines and recommendations of the high- level committee,” he said.

Of these prisoners, nearly 1,000 were released on interim bail, 800 on parole, and 700 on furlough, he said.

6,500 prisoners released from MP jails

Nearly 6,500 prisoners have been released from jails in Madhya Pradesh since the coronavirus outbreak, an official said on Sunday.

Of these prisoners, as many as 3,900 have been granted parole while 2,600 have been released on interim bail by courts for a stipulated period, state prisons Deputy Inspector General Sanjay Pandey told PTI.

“We have complied with the Supreme Court’s directives,” he said.

The state has around 131 jails, of which more than 75% were overcrowded, another official said.

The jails in the state altogether have the capacity to lodge 28,500 prisoners. Following the release of 6,500 prisoners, there are still nearly 39,000 inmates in the jails, the official said.

The released prisoners were initially granted parole for 60 days and interim bail for 45 days.

“Our jails are overcrowded. We have extended the parole for another 60 days, while courts have extended the interim bail of the prisoners for another 45 days,” the official said.

44 Goa Central jail prisoners granted parole

Goa Central Jail has granted parole to 44 prisoners, including four women, since the lockdown came into force in the coastal state, an official said on Sunday.

“So far, 44 prisoners - 40 men and four women - have been granted parole by the prison department,” he said.

Before the move to grant them parole was implemented, the central jail, located at Colvale in North Goa district, had total 486 prisoners.

These included 93 men and four women serving short or long-term sentences after conviction for various offences, and 364 men and 25 women undertrials, the official said.

Maharashtra releases 7,200 prisoners

Authorities in Maharashtra have released over 7,200 prisoners so far to check overcrowding in jails amid the coronavirus pandemic, officials said on Sunday.

Around 10000 more will be released shortly, they said.

Over 6,000 inmates given bail in Tamil Nadu

There has never been overcrowding in jails in Tamil Nadu and over 6,000 inmates were granted bail recently to prevent coronavirus spread, bringing down the present strength to a little over half of the capacity, authorities said on Sunday.

More than 6,000 inmates, a big chunk of them undertrails and remand prisoners, were released on bail from different prisons, they said.

As a result, the present strength of prisoners in 135 plus jails, including nine central and five special prisons for women, in the state is approximately 13,500 as against the authorised capacity of about 23,000, prison sources told PTI.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 9:08:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/3418-prisoners-released-from-chhattisgarh-jails-official/article31606758.ece

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