PIL in HC to vaccinate prisoners out on bail, parole before they surrender

·2-min read

New Delhi, Feb 11 (PTI) A PIL was moved in the Delhi High Court on Thursday seeking directions to the AAP government to ensure that all the prisoners who were out on bail or parole are vaccinated before they surrender so as to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection inside prisons.

The plea by four lawyers is listed for hearing on Friday before a bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh.

The petitioners -- advocates Abhilasha Shrawat, Prabhash, Kartik Malhotra and Manav Narula -- have sought directions to the Delhi government to 'arrange and facilitate COVID-19 vaccination to all the prisoners who were out on bail'.

The petition claims that as on January 14, there were 16,396 inmates in the three prisons in Delhi which together have a capacity of 10,026 and it indicated that there was not sufficient space for maintaining social distancing.

The petitioners contend that with more prisoners scheduled to surrender in the coming days, there may not be sufficient space to keep them in quarantine for 14 days and therefore, it was necessary to vaccinate the prisoners who were out on bail, parole or furlough before lodging them back in the jail.

'The very purpose of extension orders (of bails and paroles) was to protect the prisoners who were inside the jail and thus it is necessary that due to this change in circumstance i.e., coming of COVID-19 vaccination, it is necessary that the High Powered Committee or this Court instead of sending them in jail in phased manner, must administer them with the vaccine first and post that only allow them to surrender to prisons,' the petition contends.

It also seeks that prisoners be vaccinated before they are produced before the courts, 'in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the court premises itself'. PTI HMP SA