SC Orders HPCs of all States and UTs to Release Prisoners to Curb the Spread of the Virus

Story Highlights
  • SC directs state administrations to reconsider release of prisoners based on 2020 guidelines
  • Police officials ordered to steer away from arrests for offences punishable with imprisonment below seven years
  • Aggressive testing of symptomatic patients ordered

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has ordered the release of a large number of prisoners fearing the spread of COVID in the premises.  Taking cognizance of the increasing cases of Covid-19 infection in the country, the Supreme Court on Saturday directed, High Powered Committee of all the states to decide on the release of prisoners as per the directions issued last year. 

The court has also directed the police officials to avoid arresting accused in offences punishable with imprisonment below seven years. It has asked the state administration to provide bail or parole to all prisoners who were granted bail or parole last year due to the pandemic. It also announced parole for a period of 90 days to the undertrials in order to reduce the congestion in the prison.

A bench of Chief Justice NV Ramana, Justice L Nageshwar Rao and Justice Surya Kant said,” all the prisoners who were granted bail in March 2020 by (HPC) of states and Union Territories should be given relief again without reconsideration by the committees.” 

The Supreme Court has ordered state governments to provide adequate medical facilities to prisoners in jails and ordered them to follow strict precautions to avoid the spread. Immediate addressal of the symptomatic prisoners is ordered by conducting required tests. 

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