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Supreme Court disposed off PIL seeking release of prisoners above 50 years of age: COVID-19

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Supreme Court today disposed of a petition with directions to respondent Union of India while granting liberty to such old aged/ prisoners suffering from ailments to make representation before the appropriate government and the same would be dealt with by the government  appropriately on case to case basis. The Court disposed of the petition by saying that general directions cannot be passed for all prisoners in this regard.

The Petition filed by Amit Sahni Advocate sought indulgence of Supreme Court for issuing appropriate directions to consider cases of Prisoners above 50 years of age as well as those prisoners, who are having ailments viz persons with pre-existing medical conditions (such as high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, cancer or diabetes) for releasing such prisoners on “Emergency Parole or Interim Bail” during the crisis of Corona Virus, in order to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The Petition stated that in order to avoid the unnecessary burden on Heath Care System, the Government of India had issued Office Memorandum whereby it directed to grant Commuted leave to those officials who are above 50 years of age and have underlying conditions i.e. diabetes, Respiratory Problems, Renal diseases and other life threatening illnesses without production of medical certificate.

The Petition also mentioned that Supreme Court while dealing with the issue to decongest Jails of the Country passed several directions in Suo Moto Writ Petition (Civil) No. 1/2020 vide order dated 23-03-2020 and whereby several directions were issued by this Hon’ble Court to decongest Jails in certain category of prisoners. However the issue of vulnerability of Corona Virus in certain certain category of persons was not brought to the notice of this Hon’ble Court.

By way of the present petition, the Petitioner craved the indulgence of Supreme Court to direct the Respondents to consider all prisoners above 50 years of age particularly those suffering from diabetes, Respiratory Problems, Renal diseases and other life threatening as mentioned in the Office Memorandum issued by the Government of India.

Hence, in the aforesaid peculiar facts and circumstances, the kind intervention of this Hon’ble Court is very much warranted urgently in the interest of justice, equity and good conscience in larger interest of prisoners.

-India Legal Bureau

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