The steep rise of Novel Coronavirus in the country has triggered some major changes in the policies since the day the country witness its first COVID-19 positive case.
Since then government has made arrangements to keep all safe and secured, a high executive committee decided to release 17,000 inmates from across Maharashtra state after around 185 inmates were infected with the deadly virus in Arthur Road Jail.
Around half the prisoners strength of 35,239 across all the jails in Maharashtra, the committee decided to release the half of them.
The committee headed by Justice AA Sayed, also comprising Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Sanjay Chahande and DG prisons SN Pandey, has not given any time frame for the release of prisoners.
As per the recommendations of the committee, the prisoners who are charged booked on serious charges under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), charged or convicted under Maharashtra Control of Organised Crimes Act (MCOCA), Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors (MPID) Act, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) or Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) will not be released.
“This would substantially decongest jails and about 50% of prisoners out of the prisons’ population of 35,239 are now expected to be released,” the committee said.
While undertrials will be released on bail granted by the courts based on the list submitted by Maharashtra prison department, convicts will be released on emergency parole for 45 days which can further be extended by 30 days.
“It would be necessary to look at the facts on case to case basis by a judicial mind before releasing such prisoners, after considering the likelihood of them absconding and/or tampering with evidence or witnesses, the panel said.
Only asymptomatic prisoners will be released after their thermal scan and other check-ups. The panel said “only those prisoners who are convicted or facing trial for offenses which are punishable up to seven years’ imprisonment shall be entitled to be released on temporary bail or parole”.