A high powered committee (HPC) constituted on orders of the Supreme Court to decongest jails here to prevent spread of COVID-19 has decided that persons arrested for black-marketing and hoarding of essential drugs, oxygen cylinders, concentrators and other such items required for COVID-19 treatment, shall not receive the benefit of interim bail criteria laid down by the panel.
Another category of prisoners who have been denied the benefit of interim bail by the committee are those who after having availed of the relief last year, as per criteria laid down by the HPC, had not surrendered within the specified period.
While denying the relief of interim bail to these two categories of undertrial prisoners (UTPs), the committee decided to grant the benefit of the relief to two other new categories — those facing trial for a case under section 302 IPC (murder) and are in jail for more than two years with no involvement in any other case and the women UTPs who are pregnant or have their children with them in jail.
However, any UTP who is eligible for interim bail as per criteria laid down by committee has three or more criminal cases pending against him, he shall not be considered for the relief.
The HPC also decided that around 1,133 UTPs who surrendered on time after being released on interim bail last year during the pandemic, to decongest jails, be released forthwith on interim bail for a period of 90 days subject to their furnishing a fresh personal bond for a sum equivalent to the sum for which they had furnished the personal bond last year.
The HPC in its meeting held on May 11 also decided that since Supreme Court has directed that the convicts who were granted emergency parole earlier should be granted parole for a period of 90 days, ”therefore, Members of the Committee recommends Government of NCT of Delhi to release the eligible convicts on emergency parole for a period of 90 days instead of 8 weeks as recommended earlier”. The committee, however, said that if any UTP or convict eligible for release, does not want to avail of the benefit, then they shall not be forcibly released.
The HPC, headed by Justice Vipin Sanghi of the Delhi High Court, was constituted by the Delhi Government, to examine the class of prisoners in jails here for granting interim bail. PTI