Virus outbreak: MP plans 120-day emergency leave for prisoners

Bhopal, May 15 (PTI) In a bid to decongest jails in view of the novel coronavirus outbreak, the Madhya Pradesh government has decided to provide 120-day 'emergency leave' to prisoners at one go, officials said on Friday.

The 120-day emergency leave would be included in the sentence handed down to prisoners, a state government order said.

In an order issued on Wednesday, the MP Jail Department said in the case of emergency situations like epidemics and natural calamities or any other circumstance needing prison decongestion, detainees in certain cases would be eligible for emergency leave for a maximum 120 days together.

Earlier in March, the state jail department set a limit of 60-day parole for convicts and 45-day interim bail for undertrials.

This move came after the Supreme Court, in March, directed states and union territories to set up committees to consider releasing jail inmates on parole or interim bail in cases where maximum punishment is seven years.

Following the SC order, the MP government had set up a high-level committee which decided to give relief to 8,000 prisoners in view of the virus outbreak.

A senior MP jail official on Friday told PTI that, after the decision of the high-level committee, some 7,000 prisoners had been released, comprising 4,000 convicts who were released on 60-day parole and 3,000 undertrials on 45-day interim bail.

He said the high level committee had recommended the increase in release period of these 7,000 inmates by 45 days, which was upheld by MP High Court.

As per data tabled in the state Assembly last year, 125 MP jails had 42,057 prisoners against a sanctioned inmate capacity of 28,601. PTI ADU MAS BNM BNM