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Chairperson of the High Powered Committee consituted to monitor the condition of jails in Delhi during COVID-19, Justice Hima Kohli has directed the Director General (Prisons) Delhi to provide adequate medical assistance and diet to Jamia student, Safoora Zargar and other pregnant prisoners in jail.
Justice Kohli is also the Executive Chairperson of Delhi State Legal Services Authority.
Zargar was arrested on April 13 by Delhi Police on the ground that she was one of the organisers of an anti-CAA protest and road blockade at Jafrabad Metro station in Delhi in February.
The direction was given pursuant to a representation sent by Wazahat Habibullah, Chairperson, Commonwealth Human Rights.
DG (Prisons) informed the Chairperson that adequate medical care, as well as special diet, was already being provided to Safoora Zargar and two other pregnant prisoners.
After perusing the representation and the submission of DG (Prisons), the Chairperson directed DG (Prisons) to continue doing the same.
The Committtee also considered a representation made by Advocate Mahmood Parcha on the issue of securing adequate legal representation for inmates at remand hearings during the lockdown period.
While the Members of the Committee opined that the prayers made in the representation were beyond the scope and purview of the Committee, Member Secretary, Delhi State Legal Services Authority informed that "Remand Advocates" were deputed on regular basis during Court proceedings in Court complexes as well as in Tihar and Mandoli jail complex.
Considering the submissions, the Chairperson proceeded to direct Secretary, DSLSA, to make sure that remand advocates continued to be present to give legal representation, to fresh arrestees and undertrial prisoners at the time of remand hearings.
The Committee also took stock of the various social distancing methods implemented by the Jail Authorities and the number of prisoners released on parole, remission and interim bail.
The Committee noted that as on May 5, 2177 undertrial prisoners were out on interim bail for a period of 45 days and for some prisoners, this period was going to expire May 9 onwards.
Considering that these priosners could not be allowed to come back to jail, the Committee has opined that interim bail for such prosioners needed to be extended for a further period of 45 days.
Member Secretary, DSLSA was been thus directed to place the recommendations before the Registrar General, High Court of Delhi, for necessary action in this regard.
Read the Minutes of the Meeting: