PIL in SC on bail to undertrials

The Supreme Court on Monday sought response from the Centre and the states to a plea seeking direction to release on bail all undertrials jailed for petty offences.

A bench presided over by Justice R M Lodha issued notices and sought replies from the Centre as well as the state governments on the PIL filed by advocate Vijay Aggarwal.

Citing the National Crime Record Bureau data, Aggarwal said the two lakh undertrials in the country comprised 64.7 per cent of the total prison population. “It was an unnecessary burden on the state exchequer. For all offences which can draw a jail term of up to seven years, there were several modes like plea bargaining and probation of offenders provisions. These should be utilised in order to decongest the prisons,” he said.

Aggarwal sought formulation of a policy under which the release of prisoners would be considered.

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