In the wake of a pandemic, to decongest the jails, the Supreme Court of India on Saturday passed an order allowing extension of parole, temporary release of prisoners and asked all states and courts to strictly limit the arresting and sending persons to jails. The Bench headed by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana, comprising Justices Nageswara Rao and Surya Kant ordered that states and Union Territories High Power Committee (HPC) on Jail affairs must immediately be convened to prepare the list of the temporary release of prisoners and release them forthwith to de-congest the jails in the wake of surging COVID-19 cases.
Besides such prisoners, the HPCs should also consider fresh release by adopting the guidelines including standard operating procedure and guidelines laid down by National Legal Services Authority, at the earliest. Those States which have not constituted High Powered Committees last year should do so immediately said the Bench. The HPCs, in addition to considering fresh release, should forthwith release all the inmates who had been released earlier pursuant to our order March 23, 2020, by imposing appropriate conditions,” said the apex Court of India.
The Supreme Court also directed that those who already granted parole must be granted a further 90 days to de-congest the prisons across the country to prevent the pandemic. Appreciating the Delhi Jails occupancy rate available on the website, the apex court also directed other states to follow this method.
“Strictly control and limit the authorities from arresting accused in contravention of guidelines laid down by this Court in Arnesh Kumar v. the State of Bihar during the pandemic,” said the apex court asking authorities and trial courts to limit the number of arresting and sending persons to jails during the pandemic. The Order also asked the states to follow the Standard Operating Procedures laid down by the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) last year.
 [BREAKING] Supreme Court orders re-release of all eligible prisoners to prevent COVID-19 spread in prisons – May 08, 2021, Bar and Bench
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