The Jammu and Kashmir government is in the process of ordering constitution of a high-level committee as directed by the Supreme Court to consider releasing on parole or interim bail prisoners and under trials for offences entailing up to 7-year jail term to decongest prisons in the wake of coronavirus pandemic.
“The Home department is the process of issuing the order,” a senior government functionary said. He said while the top court has posted the case after three weeks, the constitution of the committee cannot brooks no delay given the importance of the issue at hand amid growing threat of the coronavirus.
On Monday, a bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices L N Rao and Surya Kant directed that each State or Union Territory shall constitute a High Powered Committee comprising of Chairman of the State Legal Services Committee, the Principal Secretary (Home/Prison) and Director General of Prison(s), to determine which class of prisoners can be released on parole or an interim bail for such period as may be thought appropriate.
The court made it clear that it was leaving it open for the High Powered Committee to determine the category of prisoners who should be released, depending upon the nature of offence, the number of years to which he or she has been sentenced or the severity of the offence with which he/she is charged with and is facing trial or any other relevant factor, which the Committee may consider appropriate. GNS