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The Delhi High Court today directed the AAP government to file a status report on a plea claiming that over 300 undertrials were languishing in the Tihar Jail here, despite being granted bail. The court asked the government to file by tomorrow the report giving details of the prisoners, including names, cases in which they were implicated or convicted, details of orders on bail or sentence and the reasons for not releasing them. A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar issued notice to the Delhi government on the petition and listed the matter for December 4. The court also appointed former Director General of Tihar Jail Sudhir Yadav as amicus curiae to assist it in the matter. The PIL filed by advocate Ajay Verma alleged that despite judicial bail orders, 326 prisoners have not been released from jail due to inability to furnish surety bond. Seeking formulation of guidelines and certain directions, the plea said a large number of citizens were lodged in jail awaiting trials before the courts and many of them have not been released despite bail orders for several months for not fulfilling the conditions attached with the bail orders due to poverty and ignorance. "In most of the cases, no one on their behalf had even bothered to move to the court for relaxing, waving or reduction of the conditions imposed on them," it added. The plea said the Supreme Court had also directed that the legal services authorities may take up those cases before concerned court for relaxation on bail conditions. It claimed that despite various directions of the apex court and the high court, the orders have not been implemented in the correct perspective. It also sought to blame the courts for not exercising the option of personal bond for financially unstable prisoners and said it was misuse of discretionary powers by the judicial system. "The option of exercising the option of a personal bond instead of a surety, rests upon the discretion of the judge deciding the case.
Due to less usage of discretion by the judges towards enlarging a prisoner/undertrial on personal bond, the ultimate person who suffers are these vulnerable prisoners and their families as they are financially not prudent enough to get justice for one of their family members," the petition claimed.
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