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54 Female Foreign Prisoners seeks relief amid COVID-19

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54 female foreign prisoners lodged in the Tihar Jail have written to the high powered committee of the Delhi government to look into their grievances where other Indian inmates are being released but they are still languishing there as they have not been included for release in the wake of the corona virus epidemic.

In a representation sent through advocate Ajay Verma to the committee headed by Justice Hima Kohli, the prisoners have said that even though the provision of emergency parole has been added in the Delhi Prison Manual and other recommendations have been given for the release of the prisoners, under trial prisoners, who are foreign nationals, whose cases have not been considered for release due to the epidemic.

The women, who are under trial prisoners in offences which have a maximum sentence of seven years or less, said that earlier also many inmates had gone on interim bail but have returned back and did not misuse the benefit granted by the courts.

Verma, and his Organisation ‘International Bridges to Justice’ has been working with these prisoners closely. In the letter, the foreign female inmates have also said that the while Indian convicts who are in jail for offences punishable for a maximum of seven years have been released by they are left to languish in the jail number 6.

It also said that while the committee had also allowed the convicts who have been sentenced to 10 years and have already undergone nine and half years in prison are also being released. Tihar jail officials refused to comment on the representation.

On March 23, the Supreme Court had directed the Delhi government to form a committee which would look into the release of the prisoners and keep a check of overcrowding at the jails due to the corona virus epidemic. Later, the government, under the chairmanship of Delhi High Court judge Hima Kohli, constituted the committee which ordered the release of various category of inmates to de-congest the jail.

-India Legal Bureau

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