Bombay High Court seeks details of bail applications from trial courts in Maharashtra

It was hearing a bunch of Public Interest Litigations filed by the Peoples Union for Civil Liberties and other individual petitioners.

June 12, 2020 05:51 pm | Updated 05:53 pm IST - Mumbai:

13/09/2011 MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court may soon be renamed as Mumbai High Court if the centre gives a go-ahead to a recommendation made by the Maharashtra government. Once the central legislative committee clears the recommendation, a bill will be introduced in parliament to make the name-change amendment to the Bombay high court (Letters Patent) Act, 1866. The state government will then issue a notification.  
Photo: Paul Noronha

13/09/2011 MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court may soon be renamed as Mumbai High Court if the centre gives a go-ahead to a recommendation made by the Maharashtra government. Once the central legislative committee clears the recommendation, a bill will be introduced in parliament to make the name-change amendment to the Bombay high court (Letters Patent) Act, 1866. The state government will then issue a notification. Photo: Paul Noronha

The Bombay High Court on Friday directed all trial courts in Maharashtra to submit details of applications they had received, and decided upon, for temporary bails in an attempt to free up prisons in the State to maintain social-distancing norms to curb the coronavirus ( COVID-19 ) spread.

A Bench, led by Chief Justice Dipankar Datta, also directed the State prison authorities to inform the High Court by Monday, of the standard operating procedure being (SOP) followed in jails on testing inmates, including those who were asymptomatic or high risk contacts of COVID-19 patients.

Download The Hindu’s multi-language e-book on essential COVID-19 information

It was hearing a bunch of Public Interest Litigations filed by the Peoples Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), and other individual petitioners.

The petitions have sought that the State be directed to ensure safety of all prisoners currently lodged in Mumbai’s Arthur Road Jail and also other prisons in the State in light of news that several inmates and jail staff had tested positive for coronavirus.

Maharashtra panel decides to release 50% prisoners

Last month, during a previous hearing, the State government had submitted that it had made applications for releasing 14,400 inmates currently lodged in various prisons across Maharashtra to free up prison space and follow social-distancing norms in light of COVID-19 spread.

The State had told the High Court at the time that it had a capacity of 24,000 inmates across all prisons in Maharashtra.

HC tells magistrates to speed up interim bail hearings

“However, at the beginning of the lockdown (in March- end), there were 37,000 inmates lodged in these jails.

“While around 8,000 had been released on temporary bail, the jail authorities had made bail applications for 14,400 more inmates,” it had said.

The court had then directed that all pending applications for temporary bail be heard expeditiously.

“Today, we told the court that despite its orders, bail applications were not being decided upon expeditiously, so the court sought details from all trial courts,” said senior counsel Mihir Desai, the advocate for one of the petitioners.

Also Read |Jails turn into hotbeds of COVID-19 | Inmates at Arthur Road jail getting cured: State to HC

The Bnch also asked the prison authorities to inform the court whether it had arranged for video calling facility for inmates since they were unable to meet their relatives currently in view of the restrictions imposed due to COVID 19.

Earlier last month, 158 prisoners and 26 staff members had tested positive for coronavirus in Arthur Road Jail .

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.