Bar Council of UP has written a letter to the new acting Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court seeking parole/interim bail to underprivileged undertrial convicts/prisoners due to the second wave Covid pandemic.
In the letter, Chairman of the Council Rohitashwa Kumar Aggarwal pointed out that electronic and print media is full of reports that indicated Covid infections have doubled in two weeks due to overcrowding in jails. As a result, several inmates have tested positive for the deadly virus. In addition, due to congestion in jail, social distancing norms cannot be effectively followed.
The only solution to avoid covid infection is to decongest the prisons so social distancing can be followed.
He further requested that under trials and convicts should be granted bail or parole, not due to legal considerations arising from the right to bail but because of the convict’s human rights that ensure safeguards to health and life.
Due to the spread of the virus, the patients were suffering immensely, and they also don’t have access to speedy justice.
The BCI prayed that appropriate orders should be used to release convicts/prisoners who face less than seven years if convicted. This move will help contain the virus, and the court should make further directions/order to help address the situation.
Mr Aggarwal also referred to the High Powered Committee’s decision that was taken in the first wave wherein it was decided to release convicts/prisoners who would, if convicted, face seven years in prison to help and contain the Covid virus.