In view of the “unprecedented surge” in COVID-19 cases in the country, the Supreme Court on Saturday passed directions for decongestion of prisons.
The top court ordered forthwith release of all those prisoners who were granted bail or parole last year in view of the pandemic.
A bench comprising Chief Justice N V Ramana and Justices L Nageswara Rao and Surya Kant said that all those prisoners who were allowed to go out on bail in March last year by the high-powered committees of states and Union Territories (UTs), set up following the apex court’s order, be granted the same relief without reconsideration by HPCs to avoid delay.
“Further we direct that, those inmates who were granted parole, pursuant to our earlier orders, should be again granted parole for a period of 90 days in order to tide over the pandemic,” the bench said in its order.
The bench added that the fight against the pandemic is greatly benefitted by transparent administration.
The bench further added that all those prisoners who were allowed to go out on bail in March last year by the high-powered committees of states and UTs, constituted following top court’s order, be granted the same relief without reconsideration by HPCs to avoid delay.
The top court also noted that there needs to strict control by authorities from arresting accused in contravention of guidelines laid down by the top court in Arnesh Kumar vs. State of Bihar during pandemic.
The bench also noted that all the decisions of HighPowered Committees need to be published on respective State Legal Service Authorities/State Governments/High Courts websites in order to enable effective dissemination of information.