The High Powered Committee on Wednesday recommended the Registrar General, Delhi High Court for the extension of interim bail granted to 2177 prisoners as it may be dangerous to bring them back in jail during this pandemic situation of COVID-19.
The committee headed by Justice Hima Kohli was of the opinion that the interim bail may be extended for further 45 days, to contain the risk of COVID-19 spreading inside Jail.
DG Prison informed the committee that the isolation wards have been created for the new prisoners to protect and keep them away from the old ones. He also informed that the orders are being strictly followed by the prison authorities that is helping in effectively containing the spread of COVID-19
Earlier on 23rd March 2020, the Supreme Court bench headed by the Chief Justice S. A. Bobde, Justice L. Nageswara Rao & Justice Surya Kant passed a slew of directions “In Re: Contagion of COVID 19 Virus in Prisons”, for dealing with the health crisis arising out of Corona Virus (COVID-19) with regard to the Prisons and Remand Homes. Supreme Court had directed that, “each State/Union Territory shall constitute a High Powered Committee comprising of (i) Chairman of the State Legal Services Committee, (ii) the Principal Secretary (Home/Prisons) by whatever designation is known as, (iii) Director General of Prisons, to consider the release of Prisoners who have been convicted or are undertrial for offenses for which the prescribed punishment is up to 07 years or less.”
The committee has also directed the authorities to take precautionary measures to ensure the safe conveyance of the inmates Under Trial Prisoners and release them on an urgent basis on receipt of bail orders.
-India Legal Bureau