New Delhi, Oct 23 (IANS) The Delhi High Court has recently ordered that there shall be no further extension of the interim bails granted to the 2,318 undertrial prisoners who were involved in heinous crimes.
“As far as the first category of 2,318 undertrials involved in heinous crimes, who were granted interim bail by the District Courts, there shall be no further extension of interim bails under the orders of this Court,” said a three-judge bench of the high court presided by Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justices Siddharth Mridul and Talwant Singh.
“However, to facilitate their surrender before jail authorities and to avoid any inconvenience being caused to the jail authorities during surrender of a large number of under trials, it is ordered that the surrender shall take place in a phased manner,” he said further.
The court, however, directed that the said 2,318 prisoners are at liberty to move the respective courts for extension of their interim bails and the concerned courts shall consider the said applications for extension of interim bails on its own merits and take a decision accordingly without being influenced by any order passed by the Court in the past.
The court has asked the jail authorities make appropriate arrangements to ensure surrender of the prisoners as detailed above and take all required steps in view of the guidelines issued by the Government Authorities from time to time to contain the spread of Covid-19.
The Delhi high Court on March 25, 2020, took suo moto notice of outbreak of Covid-19 and ordered that all matters pending before the court and courts subordinate to the high court, wherein such interim orders issued were subsisting as on March 16, 2020, and expired or will expire thereafter, the same shall stand automatically extended till May 15 or until further orders.
Since the lockdown was extended from time to time by the Government with few relaxations and the restrictive functioning of the Courts continued, so the order dated 25th March 2020 was extended from time to time on 15th May, 2020, 15th June, 2020, 13th July, 2020, 31st August, 2020 and lastly vide order dated 24th August, 2020, the interim orders were extended till 31st October, 2020.
In its latest order the bench directed the High Power Committee to take a decision in respect of 2,907 prisoners, who have been granted bail on the Committee’s recommendation, within ten days.
With regard to interim orders in the civil matters, the court said that all such interim orders shall cease to have effect on the next date of hearing in the said matters.
“However, the parties in the said matters are at liberty to move the concerned courts for extension of the interim orders and the said courts shall consider extension of the interim orders on merit without being influenced by any orders passed by this Court in this matter,” the bench said.