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Amid coronavirus pandemic J&K committee issues guidelines to decongest jails

Last Updated : 02 April 2020, 09:43 IST
Last Updated : 02 April 2020, 09:43 IST
Last Updated : 02 April 2020, 09:43 IST
Last Updated : 02 April 2020, 09:43 IST

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A high-powered committee set-up by the Jammu and Kashmir government on the directions of the Supreme Court on the release of prisoners to decongest jails in view of the coronavirus pandemic has issued several guidelines.

On the basis of the nature of the offence, the number of years and severity of the offence, the Committee has proposed to release convicted prisoners and under trials. The panel headed by J&K High Court Judge Justice Rajesh Bindal directed the authorities to consider release on several categories of convicts on special parole for eight weeks, extendable for another eight weeks if the lockdown by the government continues, subject to good conduct.

All those who have been convicted in one case only and have spent more than ten years (eight years in case of women) in jail, except those involved in militancy-related cases, convicted for intermediate or large quantity recovery under NDPS Act or convicted under POCSO Act or convicted for offence for an offence against woman, or convicted for offence of acid attack or foreign nationals.

The panel has also directed the authorities to consider the release of all those who have been sentenced to imprisonment for three years with or without fine and the conviction has been upheld by the Appellate Court but revision against the judgment by Appellate Court is pending before the High Court.

All those who have completed their sentence but are still in prison due to non-payment of fine should be considered for parole, the panel has directed.

The panel also comprising Principal Secretary Home and DGP Prisons has also directed authorities to examine cases of prisoners with advanced age and suffering from any illness on a case to case basis.

Similarly, in case of under-trial prisoners, it is proposed that they may be considered for 60 days interim bail, extendable for another period in case the circumstances so demand, on furnishing surety and personal bond.

The procedure laid by the Committee for grant of interim bail shall be dealt with either by the visiting judges in the jails on the bail applications in the jail itself; or alternatively by devising a mechanism of routing the bail applications through DLSA to the courts convened especially for this purpose.

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Published 02 April 2020, 09:43 IST

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