New Delhi (ILNS): The Supreme Court has stayed the Delhi High Court order directing more than 2,300 under-trials to surrender, after the Delhi High Court ended the arrangement by which interim bail of prisoners was automatically extended to prevent overcrowding of prisons during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The high court had directed 2,318 under-trials involved in heinous offences to surrender in a phased manner latest by November 13.
A bench of Justices L. Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta and Ajay Rastogi issued notice to the Delhi government and others on a petition challenging the High Court order and sought reply.
The apex court was hearing an appeal filed by the National Forum for Prison Reforms (NFPR) against the Delhi High Court order.
The High Court had ordered that its order to grant bail before the lockdown and during this period would not remain in effect after October 31. Senior Counsel Colin Gonzalves and Ajay Verma appeared on behalf of the petitioner in the case.
In its petition before the apex court, the NFPR stated that the high court directive is totally against the spirit of the order dated March 23, 2020. In this, the high court had ignored eight recommendations of the high powered committee set up by the Supreme Court.
The apex bench said: “There shall be stay of directions (i), (ii) and (iv) given in paragraph 7 of the impugned order dated October 20 passed by the High Court.”
The stay would operate till November 26 when the bench will hear the prison authorities and Delhi government on the petition.
Read the order here;National-Forum-on-Prison-Reforms-v-GNCTD-Oct-29-order