The Delhi High Court on Monday sought response from the Delhi government over a Public Interest Litigation seeking extension of emergency parole of prisoners who are above the age of 65 and prone to Covid-19 infection due to some ailments and medical conditions.
A division bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh issued notice to the Delhi government, Director General (Prisons) and the Member Secretary, DSLSA on the petition filed by social activist and advocate Amit Sahni and slated the matter for further hearing on March 26.
Advocate Sahni, in his plea, has sought court’s direction to defer the surrendering of the prisoners above 65 years and prisoners suffering from co-morbid medical conditions etc.
“Delhi Jails are overcrowded by 80% without considering the norms of social distancing. Delhi Jails have capacity to retain 10026 prisoners and at present about 14000 prisoners are lodged in Delhi Jails excluding about 4000 prisoners, who are at present released on interim bail/emergency parole. It is, therefore, clear that social distancing cannot be maintained in Delhi Jails due to overcrowding and in case 4000 prisoners surrender then situation may worsen in Tihar Jails and the same would be detrimental and adversely affect prisoners and jail administration as well,”
-the plea said.
The plea further stated that the situation in Delhi Jails is not such that one room/barrack can be provided to each infected prisoner because number of prisoners are lodged together in single barrack/room.