The Delhi Prisons department has requested the city government to extend the emergency parole granted to convicts by one month in view of the existing COVID-19 situation, officials said on Saturday.
In a letter to the home department, it said the emergency parole can be given considering the current pandemic situation.
According to the officials, there are currently 4,250 such inmates, comprising 3,100 undertrials on interim bail and 1,150 convicts on emergency parole, who are out of jails as part of the prisons department's recent decongestion drive.
"We have written to the government to extend emergency parole of convicts by one month," a senior jail official said.
The Delhi Prisons are overcrowded. Before the process of decongesting jails began in March, the population in jails was 180 per cent of the capacity -- the three jails were housing 18,000 inmates against the capacity of 10,000.
After the decongestion drive, the number of inmates has reduced to over 13,000. The official said Delhi's home department can take a decision on extension of parole given by it.
Another official said that due to overcrowding of the city jails, it is very difficult to maintain social distancing inside the prisons to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Recently, 260 inmates and jail staff had tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
Director General of Delhi Prisons Sandeep Goel had also tested positive for COVID-19. He is currently under isolation.
Among prisons in the national capital, the first case of the coronavirus was reported in Rohini Jail on May 13. Two coronavirus positive inmates of Mandoli Jail had died on June 15 and July 4. Both were senior citizens.
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