NEW DELHI: As many as 350 detenues, who were lodged in the different detention centres across Assam, have been released on bail in accordance with the Supreme Court order to decongest prisons in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government said on Monday in the Parliament.
Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai said this while responding to questions posed by Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) Rajya Sabha MP Vaiko.
“The Supreme Court of India has passed an order dated April 13, 2020, in a suo motu writ petition directing that the prisoners or detainees who have been under detention for two years shall be entitled to be released subject to fulfillment of stipulated conditions including the furnishing of a bond of Rs 5,000 with two sureties of the like sum of Indian citizens,” Rai said, in a written reply.
Vaiko also sought details in the detention centres, in the last two years. In response, Rai said that 15 detainees have died in different detention centres across Assam due to illness during the last two years till September 16, 2020, while undergoing treatment in various hospitals of the state.
In response to a different set of questions posed by DMK leader M Shanmugan, Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy said for legal aid, lawyers were deputed to provide free legal services to the jail inmates through video conferencing in States and UTs such as Kerala, Punjab, Haryana, Bihar, Chandigarh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, and Jharkhand.
When asked about the funds, the ministry proposes to provide for the video conferencing facility, Reddy said that the Law Ministry is implementing the eCourts Mission Mode Project, which is a national e-Governance project for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) enablement of the Courts in the country.
“The Department of Justice has released an amount of Rs 69.30 crores to all High Courts for providing video conferencing facilities between 3,240 court complexes and 1,272 corresponding jails under the said project,” Reddy said, in a written reply.