Tihar Jail
Tihar Jail

COVID-19: 45 days interim bail to be granted to Delhi under-trial Prisoners suffering from HIV, Cancer, TB, Asthma etc to decongest jails

Aditi Singh

Pursuant to its endeavour to decongest Delhi jails on account of COVID-19 pandemic, the High Powered Committee for Delhi has resolved to extended the benefit of interim bail of 45 days to undertrial prisoners (UTPs) suffering from from HIV, Cancer, Chronic Kidney, Dysfunction (requiring dialysis), Hepatitis B or C, Asthma, and TB.

The decision was taken in a meeting of the High Powered Committee under the Chairmanship of Delhi High Court Judge and Executive Chairperson of Delhi State Legal Services Authority, Justice Hima Kohli.

The following categories of UTPs with the above-mentioned illness(es) may now be considered for grant of interim bail, preferably on Personal Bond:

- those are in custody for three months or more, facing trial in a case which prescribes a maximum sentence of 7 years or less;

- those who are in custody for a period of six months or more, facing trial in a case which prescribes a maximum sentence of 10 years or less;

- those who are in custody for a period of six months or more and facing trial in a case which prescribes punishment of 10 years upto life imprisonment and are not involved in multiple cases.

The following category of UTPs, even if they fall in the above criterion, shall not be considered for interim bail:

- those who are undergoing trial for intermediary/large quantity recovery under NDPS Act;

- those who are facing trial under Section 4 & 6 of POCSO Act;

- those who are facing trial for offences under section 376, 376A, 376B, 376C, 376D and 376E and Acid Attack;

- foreign nationals;

- those who are facing trial under Prevention of Corruption Act/PMLA, MCOCA; and

- cases being investigated by CBI/ED/NIA/Special Cell of Delhi Police, Crime Branch, SFIO, Terror related Cases, cases under Anti-National Activities and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act etc.

Approximately 50 UTPs would be the beneficiaries of the relaxed criteria for interim bail.

Amognst other things, the Court also considered a representation concerning issues relating to summoning, detention and arrest of the persons by the police during National Lockdown in connection with the FIRs registered regarding violence in North East area of Delhi in February, 2020.

Refusing the pass any resolution in those regard, the High Powered Committee observed,

the submissions advanced in the representation and prayers made therein, are beyond the scope and purview of this Committee, as mandated by Hon’ble Supreme Court vide its order dated 23.03.2020 as per which this Committee was formed. The signatories of the representation are at liberty to move appropriate Courts in case they are aggrieved of the summoning or arrest made by the police.
High Powered Committee

To decongets jails and implement social distancing, the High Powered Committee also resolved to shift 200 prisoners from Rohini Jail & 50 prisoners from Tihar Jail to Mandoli Jail on temporary basis i.e. till the time present circumstances prevailing in the country persist.

Read the Minutes of the Meeting:

Minutes of Meeting dated 18th April, 2020.pdf
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