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'Some Prisoners Might Not Be Willing To Be Released Due To Their Social Background': Supreme Court Issues Directions To Prison Authorities For Protection Of Inmates From COVID

Srishti Ojha
8 May 2021 9:31 AM GMT
Some Prisoners Might Not Be Willing To Be Released Due To Their Social Background: Supreme Court Issues Directions To Prison Authorities For Protection Of Inmates From COVID
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The Supreme Court has asked the authorities to be considerate to concerns of inmates in relation to extraordinary cases of prisoners who might not be willing to be released from prisons during covid in view of their social background and the fear of becoming victims of the deadly virus.The bench made this observation while issuing a set of directions for release of certain categories of...

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The Supreme Court has asked the authorities to be considerate to concerns of inmates in relation to extraordinary cases of prisoners who might not be willing to be released from prisons during covid in view of their social background and the fear of becoming victims of the deadly virus.

The bench made this observation while issuing a set of directions for release of certain categories of prisoners on interim-bail/parole in order to de-congest prisons.


A bench comprising Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, Justices L Nageswara Rao and Surya Kant has directed authorities to ensure that proper medical facilities are provided to all prisoners who are imprisoned.

"Overcrowding of prisons is a phenomenon, plaguing several countries including India. Some prisoners might not be willing to be released in view of their social background and the fear of becoming victims of the deadly virus." the Bench observed.

While passing a slew of directions to de-congest prisons in wake of second wave of COVID pandemic, the Apex Court has also directed the spread of Covid­19 virus to be controlled in the prisons by regular testing being done of the prisoners but also the jail staff.

Further, immediate treatment is be made available to the inmates and the staff.

In order to control transmission of the deadly virus amongst the inmates of prisons, the Court has observed that it is necessary to maintain levels of daily hygiene and sanitation required to be improved, and suitable precautions are to be taken.

The Bench has also directed that appropriate steps be taken for transportation of the released inmates of the prisons, if necessary, in view of the curfews and lockdown in some States.

The Court took note of the fact that some of the prisons in India are overburdened and are housing inmates beyond optimal capacity, and therefore requirement of de­ congestion is a matter concerning health and right to life of both the prison inmates and the police personnel working.

According to the Bench, from limiting arrests to taking care of Covid­19 Patients, there is a requirement for effective management of pandemic from within the prison walls so as to defeat this deadly virus.

Supreme Court, through its order dated 7th May has passed slew of directions for de-congestion of prisons in the suo moto case In Re Contagion of COVID Virus In Prisons.

The directions have been issued after an application was filed seeking directions to the High Powered Committees constituted last year, to examine the current situation of risk of virus spreading in prisons and recommend release of prisoners on interim bail/parole based upon the situation in the concerned State.

Click here to read/download the order


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