New Delhi, May 9 : Delhi High Court on Saturday extended the interim bail of as many as 2,177 Undertrial Prisoners (UTPs) by another 45 days to decongest jails in view of the prevailing situation of Covid-19 pandemic. Delhi High Court Chief Justice has issued verbal direction for constitution of a Division Bench for passing the judicial orders to the extension of the interim bail of 2,177 Undertrial Prisoners (UTPs) to decongest jails in view of the Covid-19 pandemic would start to expire from May 9. Supreme Court had ordered to form a committee to lay down the guidelines for decongesting jails and prevent spread of Coronavirus there.
As per the direction of the Supreme Court a committee headed by Justice Hima Kohli, opined that since the pandemic situation was still the same and there was a paucity of space in jail premises to create sufficient number of isolation wards for UTPs coming back after expiry of their interim bail so the relief of bail granted to them should be extended by another 45 days. It was the view of the Committee that moving a separate application on behalf of each of the 2,177 UTPs would be cumbersome and lead to wastage of judicial time. Committee recommended Delhi High Court to pass a judicial order for extension of this period of interim bail of the UTPs by another 45 days from their respective dates of expiry. According to the committee, it would be dangerous to put the prisoners back in jail as the coronavirus risk still remains high.
Government Counsel appearing on behalf of prison submitted it had no objection to extension of bail. Delhi High Court division bench Justices Siddharth Mridul and Talwant Singh then passed an order that the interim bails for a period of 45 days granted to 2177 under trial prisoners are extended by another 45 days from the date of their respective expiry of same terms. (UNI)