COVID-19: Delhi Govt Mulls Special Parole to Decongest Prisons
Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal.
Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal.(Photo: IANS)

COVID-19: Delhi Govt Mulls Special Parole to Decongest Prisons

The AAP government told the Delhi High Court on Monday, 23 March that it had decided to decongest its prisons to check the spread of coronavirus by providing convicts with the options of special parole and furlough.

The Delhi government told a bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad that it was going to amend its prison rules to provide the options of special parole and furlough.

The submission was made by the Delhi government's additional standing counsel Anuj Aggarwal who said a notification would be issued within a day to amend the prison rules to include the two new provisions.

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Taking note of the submission, the bench directed the Delhi government to take steps during the day to implement what it has proposed and disposed of a plea moved by two lawyers seeking decongesting of the prisons in view of the coronavirus pandemic.

The bench disposed of the matter on the submission made by the government and did not examine the matter further, saying a similar issue has been taken up by the Supreme Court on its own.

According to the yet-to-be-notified decision of the Home Department of the Delhi government, one of the rules would provide for 60-day parole in one spell in case of emergent situations like an epidemic or a natural disaster or any other situation which warrants easing of the inmate population.

The other rule would provide for a temporary facility of a special furlough....

“....to such category of prisoners and for such a number of days as may be specified in the order, in the event of emergent situations like an epidemic or a natural disaster or any other situation which warrants easing of the inmate population”
Anuj Aggarwal, Delhi government’s additional standing counsel

In India, according to the Health Ministry, there are 415 confirmed cases of coronavirus infection with around 29 of them in Delhi. At least seven people have died in the country due to the virus.

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