Criteria for Release of Under trial Prisoners on Interim Bail Relaxed

The Author is Ayush Srivastava studying  B.A. LL.B (Hons.), 2nd year from Faculty of Law, University of Allahabad.

COVID-19, this word has established menaces in heart of whole world. This had created encumbrance even in the path of great superpowers like United States of America, China etc. Whole world is in torment with the sequel of this pandemic. It also had created encumbrance in the path of legislators, the government and public health professionals with other complex changes. Contemporary World is on the precariousness of leitmotif designed by the intricate virus i.e. COVID-19. This virus had created encumbrance in the way of legislature, executive and judiciary, despite all the abhorrent ramifications, whole world is doing their best to overcome with this grey-matter.

Current Issue-
Even the Courts are directing and imparting importance to the therapy of social distancing. As stated by the Punjab and Haryana High Court in the case of Adityajit Singh Chadha vs. Union of India, it was held that-“Maintaining social distance is a sine qua non to control the disease. Administration should lay down the parameters of social distancing at the time of distribution of essential items and also to monitor and regulate the same by taking stringent actions against the
Bearing the grey matter the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India on March 23, 2020 directed all states to consider releasing prisoners in order to de-congest prisons in the light of coronavirus pandemic.
The Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Shri S.A. Bobde directed the states to form a high-octane committee comprising the Principle Secretary of Home Department, the Chairman of the Legal Services Authority, and the Director General of Prisons to consider various steps for de-congesting the prisons.
The Hon’ble Apex Court clarified that-“it is open for the High Powered Committee to determine the category of prisoners who should be released….depending upon the nature of offence, the number of years to which he or she has been sentenced or the severity of offence with which he or she is charged and is facing trial or any other relevant factors, which the committee may appropriate.”
The Bench also added-“the issue of overcrowding of prison is a matter of serious concern particularly in the present context of the pandemic of Corona Virus (Covid-19)……Having regard to the provisions of Article 21 of Constitution of India, it has become imperative to ensure that the spread of the Corona Virus within the prisons is controlled.”
Moreover the Bench has ordained that the prisoners should be transferred to other prisons during this time, to refrain the jails from getting congested. Further the Bench enacted that “there should not be any set back in shifting sick person to a Nodal Medical Institution in case of any possibility of infection is seen.”
Bearing in mind the above-mentioned order, the decision was taken in a high-octane committee under the chairmanship of Delhi HC Judge and Executive Chairperson of Delhi State Legal Services Authority, Justice Hima Kohli regarding the criteria for grant of interim bail to Under Trial Prisoners (Under Trial Prisoners) in Delhi as under-
·         Under Trial Prisoners who are facing trial in a case which prescribes or maximum sentence of 7 years or less, or
·         Even if the Under Trial Prisoners has more than one case and in all other cases he is “on bail” except the one for which he is being considered and the same prescribes punishment for seven years or less; and if.
·         UTP is in custody for period of one month or more;
·         In case of women UTP, if she is in custody for a period of 15 days or more.
The following categories of Under Trial Prisoners have been excluded from being considered for interim bail.
·         All inmates who are undergoing trial for intermediary/large quantity recovery under NDPS Act.
·         Those Under Trial Prisoners who are facing trial u/s 4 and u/s 6 of POSCO Act.
·         Those Under Trial Prisoners who are facing trial u/s 376, 376A, 376B, 376C, 376D, 376E and Acid Attack.
·         Those Under Trial Prisoners who are foreign nationals.
·         Those Under Trial Prisoners who are facing trial under Preventions of Corruption Act.
·         Case investigated by CBI/ED/NIA/Special Cell Cops and TADA trials or case of anti-national activities etc.

“Winners don’t do different things, they do the things differently.” This phrase legibly makes it clear that to cope with any situation we need to equipped ourselves with precision and we can overcome with any situation in efficient manner.
Each and Every Government (whether Central or that of State) is trying its best to overcome the aftereffects of this pandemic and not only the efforts of government but especially that of Police Officers and Doctors are appreciated and we cannot return anything in exchange of it to them.
Social Therapy being only the alternative needs to be followed by each and every person, otherwise we will be in the consequence of the same sequel which that of Italy, Spain and other nations are experiencing.
Now the time has come we need to get unite and set the example in front of our upcoming generation that the unity is the only idiosyncrasy which can unravel any problem.
Despite all the leitmotif by which the world is undergoing, India is audaciously coping with this pandemic and today India is setting examples in front of the whole world that any pandemic could be overcome only with the unity and collaborative support of the citizens and thereby the aftereffects of our unity can be clearly seen in the light of the records of cases regarding COVID-19.
The need in today’s scenario is that we all should comply with the administration and setup a healthy and pandemic free environment for the upcoming generations. By undergoing the “sanjeevni therapy” i.e. social distancing we not only make our country a pandemic resistant but also we can set efficient example of the unity and integrity of India, and thereby set and example in the grey-matter of this contemporary world.