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[COVID-19] Period of interim bail of undertrial prisoners extended by Delhi High Court by 45 days

Aditi Singh

The Delhi High Court today extended the period of release of undertrial prisoners on interim bail by a further period of 45 days. (Court on its own motion vs State - Re: Interim bail extension)

The period of extended 45 days shall begin from the date on which one's interim bail is expiring.

Presently, close to three thousand undertrials are out on interim bail in a bid to decongest city jails to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

An order extending interim bail was passed today by a Division Bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Talwant Singh, following a recommendation by the High-Powered Committee which was set up to deal with COVID-19 in jails.

The first extension of 45 days was granted by the Court last month, on May 9.

In its meeting held on June 20, the High-Powered Committee had considered the fact that the interim bail of inmates was scheduled to expire from the last week of June onwards.

The Committee noted that since the situation of the pandemic was the same, it was dangerous to take back inmates who had earlier been released in interim bail.

Further opining that at present, it was not possible to predict a definite cut off date for resumption of normal functioning of courts, the Committee had recommended that the interim bail granted to undertrial prisoners ought to be extended by another period of 45 days.

The matter would be heard next on August 3.

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