The Allahabad High Court on Monday temporarily suspended the sentence of two murder convicts on medical grounds, amidst the outbreak of COVID-19.
Vide two separate orders, the division bench of Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Siddhartha Varma said that the release of the two prisoners was "appropriate", given their susceptibility to contract infection.
One of the convicts, suffering from diabetes, had approached the High Court via email seeking suspension of his life sentence to undergo proper medical treatment.
The bench noted that earlier also a co-ordinate Bench of the High Court had released him on bail. The court further highlighted that release of the applicant was essential to protect him from the deadly corona virus.
Allowing his application the court said,
"It is also brought to our knowledge that the Central Jail, Varanasi is heavily crowded. The ailment of Diabetes Melitus with Chronic Poliomyelitis is prone to accept the infections and at present the pandemic of Corona Virus (COVID-19) is at its peak and as such we deem it appropriate to release the applicant Lalo @ Dinesh Kumar -2- Shukla from the prison by suspending execution of his sentence for a period of six weeks."
The applicant has thus been released on interim bail till May 16, 2020, subject to furnishing two sureties of Rs.50,000/- each and a personal bond of same amount to the satisfaction of the Jail Superintendent.
The court has further directed that the applicant will present himself before the Superintendent on 17th May failing which, the bail bonds and sureties executed in pursuance of this order will stand forefieted.
With regards the other applicant aged 94 years old, the court said,
"It is brought to our notice that at present the accused-appellant is of 94 years of age. Having considered this aspect of the matter, we are inclined to allow this application. The sentence awarded to the accused-appellant… is suspended till disposal of the appeal."