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To stop spread of COVID-19 in jails, Haryana decides to release prisoners on bail

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In a bid to contain the spread of coronavirus in jails, the Haryana government has decided to release convicted prisoners with up to seven years of sentence on parole or bail.

This move is taken in order to de-congest prisons, said state Jail Minister Ranjit Singh Chautala on Wednesday.

Before releasing the prisoners, the authorities will check the track record of their good behaviour in jail and they should also be not facing any trial in other cases, added Singh while speaking to media here.

As per the government decision, convicts above 65 years of age (except those involved in multiple cases or convicted for recovery of large quantity of drugs under the NDPS Act or convicted under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso), under Section 379-B (snatching) and convicted for rape or acid attack shall be granted six-week special parole.

Prisoners who are foreign nationals would not be entitled to this relief either.

The decision by the government is taken in accordance with the Supreme Court's instructions to decongest crowded jails to halt them from becoming fertile grounds for the spread of COVID-19.

"The prisoners would be released subjected to the grant of the bail or parole for a period of 45 to 60 days by courts. Prisoners already on parole or furlough will also get a four-week special parole," Chautala added.

Similarly, prisoners who have returned to jail after only one parole or furlough on time and not violated any rule during such parole or furlough will also be given six- week special parole, he added.

This decision was made after a meeting was held on March 24 via video conferencing under the chairmanship of Justice Mr. Rajeev Sharma. The meeting was attended by Additional Chief Secretary, Home, Jails, Vijai Vardhan and Director General, Prisons K. Selvaraj.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Thu, March 26 2020. 09:26 IST
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