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Plea for seeking release of inmates to decongest jails

Team SoOLEGAL 26 Mar 2020 4:12pm

Plea for seeking release of inmates to decongest jails

A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court compelling the state governments to follow the order of the apex court, in which States were directed to consider releasing a class of prisoners from jails to combat the Coronavirus pandemic.

A bench comprising Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justice L.N. Rao & Justice Surya Kant passed an order whereby it was directed that all States and Union Territories are required to create "high-level committees" to decide the class of prisoners who could be released on parole for four to six weeks. This will result in decongestion of prisons, which would prevent further growth of the Coronavirus outbreak.

"The State/Union Territory could consider the release of prisoners who have been convicted or are undertrial for offences for which prescribed punishment is up to seven years or less, with or without fine, and the prisoner has been convicted for a lesser number of years than the maximum,'' said the order from apex court dated 23rd March 2020.

The application was filed by the Centre for Accountability and Systemic Change (CASC) that urged the Supreme Court to issue appropriate directions to curb the spread of COVID-19 in prisons. It points out that as "novel coronavirus is an epidemic of unforeseen scale", it requires "novel measures" and decongesting jails must be "given priority".

the petition stated,"That while the entire country has been put under lockdown, it does not in any way reduce the chances of spreading of COVID-19 in prisons. It is because of the rampant overcrowding and lack of medical facilities that the Hon'ble Court institutes this Suo Motu Writ Petition".

The petitioner also stated examples, such as the United States, which released prisoners due to fears of coronavirus.



Tagged: Supreme Court   Coronavirus   Chief Justice SA Bobde   Justice L.N. Rao   Justice Surya Kant   outbreak   COVID-19   novel measures  
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