Tihar Jail in Delhi
Tihar Jail in Delhi
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[Coronavirus] Consider releasing prisoners above 50 years, those with existing ailments on emergency parole/interim bail: PIL filed in SC

The petitioner has made the plea given that elderly persons and those with underlying ailments have been identified as more likely to be affected by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Shruti Mahajan

A PIL has been filed in the Supreme Court urging that authorities be directed to consider the release of prisoners above the age of fifty years or with existing medical conditions on emergency parole or interim bail amid the COVID19 pandemic.

The plea has been moved by Advocate and activist Amit Sahni calling on the Supreme Court to direct concerned authorities to consider the release of such prisoners in order to prevent them from contracting the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). The petitioner has prayed that the Court,

"... direct the respondents to consider the cases of all prisoners above 50 years of age and have underlying conditions i.e. Diabetes, Respiratory Problems, High Blood Pressure, Renal diseases and other life threatening illnesses for granting Emergency Parole/Furlough for certain period in order to contain COVID-19."
Amit Sahni

The petitioner says that according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), certain classes of persons are more susceptible to being severely affected by COVID-19. This class of people includes elderly people and those with ailments such as respiratory conditions, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart or lung diseases, among others.

It is pointed out that the Government of India had granted leave to all the officials who fall within the classes of people more susceptible to the disease without the production of medical certificates.

Further, steps are also being taken by the Centre and the States to decongest prisons across the country as a preventive measure against transmission of the coronavirus. Therefore, the said class of prisoners highlighted in the petition should also be considered for release, the petitioner has urged.

The Supreme Court, earlier this month, had directed all States to form high powered committees to identify the prisoners who can be released on bail or parole given the prevalent health crisis.

The Petitioner in this plea has now prayed that prisoners above fifty years of age and those with existing ailments also be considered for release, given their vulnerability to COVID-19.

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