HC Decides To Release Jail Inmates Amid COVID Second Wave17 May 2021
Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Monday decided to release jail inmates in the union territory on 90 days interim bail in view of the Supreme Court directions. A high-powered committee, headed by High Court Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey, took the decision to release all the jail inmates as per the directions of the Supreme Court in March 2020, an official spokesman said. Magrey directed the J&K Legal Services Authority (JKLSA) to coordinate with the other two members of the Committee to know about the category of convicts and under trials, who can also be released, pursuant to the directions of the Apex Court. After the completion of this exercise, a report will be placed before the Committee, the spokesman said. Magrey also directed Director General of Police (DGP), Prisons, to coordinate with the Health department and ensure vaccination of inmates and the jail staff on priority. Besides this, the committee directed the jail authorities to take appropriate steps by keeping the frequently-visited areas like kitchen, bathrooms etc. hygienic and by ensuring that inmates and the staffers wear masks and maintain social distancing. He also directed the Legal Service Institutions across the UT to provide services of Panel Lawyers to the inmates, who are eligible to be released from the custody by moving applications on their behalf. The committee also called for the additional release of prisoners on paroles or interim bail orders for which the DGP and JKLSA member Secretary were asked to work out modalities within the stipulated time. It suggested the creation of additional or temporary accommodation within or outside jail complexes to ensure strict adherence to COVID Standard Operating Protocols (SOPs).