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COVID-19 HC orders release of undertrial,remand prisioners


Press Trust of India Kochi
The Kerala High Court on Monday directed to grant interim bail to all under-trial/remanded prisoners incarcerated in the jails within the state, accused of having committed offences punishable upto seven years or less, to decongest jails in wake of spread of COVID-19.
The three-judge Bench of Justices C K Abdul Rahim, C T Ravikumar and Raja Vijayaraghavan gave the direction todecongest jails as a precautionary measure against the spread of the novel coronavirus and in line with the directive of the Supreme Court on this matter.
The Court said the order would not apply to prisoners having any criminal antecedents, previous convictions or in the case of habitual offenders and also with respect to those undergoing trial or remanded custody in more than one cases.
The interim bail granted shall be limited upto April 30, 2020 or till the end of the lock down period by the government, whichever is earlier, it said.
In case the lock down period is extended beyond April 30, the interim bail granted will continue till such extended period, the Court said.
The state government informed the High Court that in compliance with the direction of the Supreme Court, the state government, through its Director General of Prisons and Correctional services, had already taken steps and released about 450 convicted prisoners on special parole, in order to de-congest the jails.
The Court directed that on expiry of the period of interim bail, the released prisoner shall appear before the

The Court also made it clear that the person released on interim bail shall be liable to be arrested and produced before the jurisdictional court, in case of violation of any of the conditions stipulated or in case they are found indulging in any activity endangering law and order or breach of public order and tranquility, or in any manner intimidating or influencing the witnesses.

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First Published: Mar 30 2020 | 10:16 PM IST

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