The High-Powered Committee stated that undertrial convicts may be released on interim bails, based on case to case examination.
In a bid to decongest jails in Lucknow and other UP districts amid the second swell of the coronavirus infection, the state government has decided to consider the release of prisoners on 60-day parole. All jail inmates, except for convicts or those undergoing trials for serious offences, will be forthwith considered for a release according to a decision approved by the High Powered Committee (HPC). The agreement has been extended in compliance with the Supreme Court directives on similar lines.
COVID swell in crowded UP jails
Recently, the Chairman of the UP Bar Council, Rohitashwa Kumar Agarwal, had written a letter to the acting Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court, Sanjay Yadav, seeking interim bail, parole for undertrial prisoners and convicts. This appeal was forwarded in view of reports indicating the doubling of COVID-19 cases during the last two weeks in jails across the state due to overcrowding. "Scores of inmates have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, majorly due to flouting of social distancing norms on account of congestion in jails," his letter read.
As a result, the HCP panel of acting Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court, Additional Chief Secretary of Home, Director General (Prisons), stated that all male inmates above 65 years of age, all female inmates above 50 years and pregnant women prisoners will be released.
Along with them, all others who suffer from cancer or other serious critical illnesses, shall also be entitled to parole for a period of 60 days. All these prisoners will be bound by a personal bond with an undertaking that they shall surrender after the expiry of the parole period.