COVID-19: Despite Supreme Court orders, Telangana yet to decide on release of prisoners

Though the Apex Court directed States to decongest jails to ensure social distancing among prisoners, Telangana government is yet to constitute a committee in this regard.

Published: 30th March 2020 10:03 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th March 2020 10:03 AM   |  A+A-

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Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Even as other States are releasing some prisoners in order to decongest jails, the Telangana government is yet to constitute a committee in this regard. In a bid to contain the spread of Coronavirus in prisons, the Supreme Court had directed States to release prisoners on parole.

However, taking stock of the situation, the TS Prisons Department officials are generating a list of prisoners under various categories to ensure the Supreme Court’s guidelines are maintained.“As and when the meeting is conveyed, we can hand over the lists to the committee to take a decision,” said a highly placed officer who wished to remain anonymous.

According to the department sources, prisoners with more cases and bad conduct during the jail term may not be released on parole. The parole may be granted till the end of the current prevailing situation, authorities said.

Experts across the globe are advising social distancing to stop the spread of the deadly virus. Taking this into account, recounting the provisions of Article 21 of the Constitution, the Apex Court had directed States to decongest jails to ensure social distancing among the prisoners, while observing that overcrowding of prisons is a matter of serious concern.

“We direct that each State/Union Territory shall constitute a High Powered Committee comprising of (i) Chairman of the State Legal Services Committee, (ii) the Principal Secretary (Home/Prison) by whatever designation is known as, (ii) Director-General of Prison(s), to determine which class of prisoners can be released on parole or an interim bail for such period as may be thought appropriate,” said a Supreme Court bench comprising of Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices L N Rao and Surya Kant.Following these orders, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh governments have already announced the release of over 10,000 prisoners in each State.


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