Decongestion of Jails: Prisoners Make Most of Covid-19 as Punjab Decides to Extend Paroles, Interim Bail

Chandigarh: To decongest Punjab jails the state government has decided to extend paroles of prisoners as well as interim bail of undertrials by six weeks.

A committee of Punjab and Haryana High court has provided the relief in cases of prisoners causing grievous hurt voluntarily in cases which are not of serious nature as well as cases under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS) Act.

Those inmates suffering from chronic diseases will also be allowed to avail six week interim bail or parole. So far 6,000 prisoners have benefitted from the decision.

The committee had recommended an amendment of the Punjab Good Conduct Prisoners (Temporary Release) Act, 1962, to implement the decision.

The government is facing a tough challenge in the wake of COVID 19 as around 3000 prisoners who were sent out on bail earlier are set to return to various jails in the state soon. The move is necessitated for six more weeks or till further orders.

Beyond this extension, jail superintendents can further extend parole only with due approval of ADGP Prisons.

The decision has been taken under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1987, to ensure safety of jail inmates.

The state jail authorities will ensure that the inmates out on bail are re-admitted in a staggered manner and that too in small groups so that proper screening for coronavirus can be conducted beforehand.