In compliance with the Supreme Court orders, a High Powered Committee in the state of Uttar Pradesh has recommended the class of prisoners that may be released on parole, in order to de-congest prisons in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Monday, March 23, a bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde had directed all states and Union Territories to set up 'High Level Committees' to determine the class of prisoners who could be released on parole for four to six weeks. It also observed that the prisoners convicted of or charged with offences having jail term of up to seven years can be given parole to decongest jails.
In view thereof, the Committee appointed for the State of UP, comprising of Hon'ble Executive Chairman, UPSLSA; Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Govt. of U.P. and D.G.P. (Prisons) Uttar Pradesh has recommended that the following category of undertrial prisoners (except undertrial prisoners who are Foreign Nationals) may be released on Interim Bail:
"Undertrial prisoners facing criminal cases in which maximum sentence is 07 years and presently confined in jails may be released on interim bail for 08 weeks by the Sessions Court, Additional Sessions Court or the Chief Judicial Magistrate including other Judicial Magistrates, as the case may be, on furnishing personal bond with the undertaking written on the personal bond itself that he/she shall surrender before the Court after expiry of the interim bail period. Other conditions may be imposed by the Court if it thinks fit, considering the circumstances of the case."
Procedure for grant of bail
The Committee has stipulated that for drafting bail applications to be moved by under trial prisoners, assistance and services of prison officers, jail staff, jail Para Legal Volunteers (PLVs) and Panel Lawyers empanelled with the District Legal Services Authority (DLSA) may be utilized under intimation to the Secretary, DLSA of the concerned district.
On moving of bail application thereafter, grant of interim bail may be done by the Sessions Judge/Additional Sessions Judge/Chief Judicial Magistrate/other Judicial Magistrates, as the case may be, by visiting the jails on alternate days.
For this purpose passes shall be issued to the Judges/Magistrates & Panel Lawyers during lock down period by the District Administration.
Status of Parole
In order to maintain transparency in the entire process, the Committee has stipulated that information regarding number of Parole granted and Interim Bail applications moved and decided in a day, will be communicated to the "State Level Monitoring Team" on the next day and will also be displayed on the official website of the Prison, i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Further, the Jail Superintendent will be in continuous touch with concerned Secretary, District Legal Services Authority regarding disposal of interim bail applications moved by the undertrial prisoners so that proper arrangements may be made.
Lastly, the Committee has recommended that the Undertrial Review Committee, contemplated by the Supreme Court in Re Inhuman Conditions in 1382 prisons, (2016) 3 SCC 700, will meet every week and take such decisions in consultation with the concerned district authority as per the said judgment.
Read Letter Of Intimation