Release of prisoners to decongest prisons, orders SC | India News
Inmates of the Birsa Munda Central Prison in police custody, arrive for COVID-19 (PTI) tests
NEW DELHI: To protect the right to life of prisoners, the Supreme Court has directed states to examine the release of prisoners, convicted or facing trial on non-serious charges, from prisons on regular or on bail. probation to prevent overcrowding and the spread of Covid-19 infection in prisons during the current surge in virulent cases.
The CS not only ordered the release of the prisoners on probation or on bail, but also took into consideration the difficulty they would face in reaching their homes during the lockdown. He called on state governments to provide prisoners, released under SC’s orders, with easy transportation to their homes.
A bench of the Chief Justice NV Ramana and Judges LN Rao and Surya Kant said: “Appropriate arrangements will be made for the transportation of prisoners released from prisons, if necessary, in view of curfews and closures. (taxed by) in some states. ”
He called on the authorities to take into account the concerns of the inmates and instructed them “to ensure that adequate medical facilities are provided to all incarcerated inmates. The spread of the Covid-19 virus must be controlled in prisons through regular testing of the inmates “. and prison staff. Immediate treatment should be given to inmates and staff. It is necessary to maintain the required levels of hygiene and daily sanitation.
There are 1,350 prisons in the country consisting of 617 sub-prisons, 410 district prisons, 144 central prisons, 86 open prisons, 41 special prisons, 31 prisons for women, 19 Borstal schools and 2 more. The prisons have the capacity to house 4,03,739 inmates, but there were 4,78,600 of them as of December 2019. Among them, 19,913 are women. The CJI-led bank said: “Some of the prisons are overloaded … we can note that the decongestion requirement is a matter related to health and the right to life.”
The WHO had declared Covid-19 a pandemic on March 11 last year and, within a week, the SC had ordered states to establish high-power committees to examine the cases of prisoners eligible to be released under bond or probation for 90 days. But since the pandemic slowed down considerably in January and February of this year, inmates were asked to report to jails.
He called on the state governments, which have not yet formed the HPC (high-power committees), to do so immediately and called on the Delhi government to include the Police Commissioner in the HPC. The court ordered that “inmates who were granted parole, in accordance with our previous orders, should be paroled again for a period of 90 days.”
“… we were struck by the example of Delhi, where the prison occupation is updated on websites. Such measures must be considered by other states. Also, all HPC decisions must be posted on websites, ”he said.