The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked all the states and union territories to ensure that prisoners who have released on parole or interim bail in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak reaches their homes safety amidst the nationwide lockdown.
A bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justice L NageswaraRao said that the states/union territories can also make the prisoners stay in temporary shelter homes during the period of the nationwide lockdown.
Senior advocate Dushyant Dave, appointed amicus curiae by the court, said that the prisoners who have been released according to the guidelines framed by the high-powered committees in various states had been stranded due to their inability to reach homes in the period of nationwide lockdown.
The bench said the prisoners should be provided transportation to reach their homes or made to stay in temporary shelter homes during the period of nationwide lockdown.
“In these circumstances, we consider it appropriate to direct that Union of India shall ensure that all the prisoners having been released by the states/union territories are not left stranded and they are provided transportation to reach their homes or given the option to stay in temporary shelter homes for the period of lockdown,” the bench said.
It also said that the states/union territories should ensure through directors general of police to provide safe transit to the prisoners who have been released so that they may reach their homes.
A number of prisoners have released from various jails across the country after the Supreme Court in an order on March 23 directed all the states and union territories to set up high-level panels to consider releasing all prisoners who have been jailed for up to seven years on parole to decongest jails as a preventive measure to contain the spread of COVID-19.