Amid Rising Covid Cases, Uttar Pradesh Govt To Release Prisoners On Parole To Decongest Jails

Amid Rising Covid Cases, Uttar Pradesh Govt To Release Prisoners On Parole  To Decongest JailsAgra Central Prison (Representative Image) (Pic Via Facebook)

The Uttar Pradesh government has decided to consider the release of prisoners across the state in order to decongest the jails in the second wave of the pandemic.

Prisoners, except those convicted or undergoing trial for serious offences like murder, rape, etc., will be forthwith considered for release on parole for 60 days after furnishing a personal bond with the undertaking that they shall surrender after the expiry of parole period.

This decision was approved by the High-Powered Committee (HPC) in compliance with the directions issued by the Supreme Court.

The committee consists of the acting Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court Sanjay Yadav, Additional Chief Secretary, Home, Avanish Kumar Awasthi, and Director General (Prisons), Anand Kumar.

All male inmates above 65 years of age, all female inmates above 50 years, pregnant women prisoners, all male or female inmates suffering from cancer or other serious, critical illness shall also be entitled to parole for a period of 60 days.

The HPC has directed the secretary home, Uttar Pradesh government, to file a compliance report as well as a statement of cases with specified reasons to the committee for re-evaluation, reconsideration wherein the state government, in its recorded opinion, has held that the release of prisoners, inmates are detrimental to public peace, safety and security and interest of the administration of justice.

The HCP further directed that undertrials facing criminal cases in which the maximum sentence is seven years may be released on interim bail on examination of cases on a case-to-case basis.

They will be released for 60 days by the appropriate court on furnishing personal bonds with undertaking written on the personal bond itself that he/she shall surrender before the court after expiry of interim bail period.

Recently, the chairman of Bar Council of Uttar Pradesh, Rohitashwa Kumar Agarwal had written a letter to the acting Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court, Sanjay Yadav, seeking interim bail, parole for undertrial prisoners, convicts in view of reports indicating doubling of Covid-19 cases during the last two weeks in jails across the state due to overcrowding.

"Scores of inmates have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, majorly due to flouting of social distancing norms on account of congestion in jails," the chairman had said in his letter.

The Bar Council of Uttar Pradesh is the apex body of the lawyers of the state.

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