SC directs all convicts, undertrials released during Covid-19 pandemic to surrender in 15 days

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NEW DELHI : The Supreme Court on Friday directed all undertrial prisoners and convicts who were released on emergency parole or interim bail during the Covid-19 pandemic to avoid overcrowding, to surrender within 15 days.

A bench comprising Justices MR Shah and CT Ravikumar issued this direction while dealing with the matter relating to the contagion of Covid 19 Virus in Prisons.

The court said that all those undertrial prisoners and convicts who have been released on emergency parole or interim bail pursuant to the recommendations of the High Powered Committee in compliance of the orders passed by this Court have to surrender before the concerned prison authorities within 15 days.

However, the court clarified that concerned undertrials can apply for regular bail after surrendering before the concerned jails and their bail pleas can be decided by the concerned court as per law. The court also clarified that convicts can also seek legal remedies available for them after they surrender themselves before the concerned court.

The top court while dealing with overcrowding in jails during the COVID-19 pandemic, had directed each state govt to constitute a high power committee comprising of the Law Secretary and Chairman of the State Legal Service Authority to determine which class of convicts or undertrials can be released on parole or interim bail.

In pursuant of the top court direction, several undertrial and convicts booked for non-heinous offences were released on interim bail or emergency parole during the pandemic to decongest jails in the country. (ANI)

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