Delhi HC defers hearing on PIL seeking direction for release of UTPs on interim bail to Apr 30

The Delhi High Court on Thursday deferred the hearing on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking direction for release of Under Trial Prisoners (UTPs) on interim bail or Special Parole in the view of the prevalent COVID-19 situation in the National Capital Territory of Delhi.
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Delhi HC defers hearing on PIL seeking direction for release of UTPs on interim bail to Apr 30

New Delhi : The Delhi High Court on Thursday deferred the hearing on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking direction for release of Under Trial Prisoners (UTPs) on interim bail or Special Parole in the view of the prevalent COVID-19 situation in the National Capital Territory of Delhi.

The Bench of Justice DN Patel and Justice Jasmeet Singh on Thursday deferred the matter for April 30, after noting that the Supreme Court has already seized of with the same matter which is scheduled to be heard on April 26.

The PIL seeks direction for framing guidelines for the release of prisoners on interim bail or special parole in view of the prevailing Covid-19 situation in the three jails in the capital.

The petitioner RK Gosain through Advocate Lalit Valecha and Advocate Sadaf Iliyas Khan also sought direction for the Director-General of Prisons to file a detailed affidavit apprising the Court regarding the exact number of Covid-19 positive cases in the three jails in Delhi as of date.

The plea states that the number of COVID-19 positive cases as of date is alarming and is on the increase. Following social distancing norms is the most crucial factor but jails in Delhi prisons are already overcrowded and following social distancing, is near impossible, stated the plea.

The plea also mentioned that in these circumstances, the prisoners in Delhi jails are more vulnerable to contract COVID-19 infection and one of the effective ways of controlling the spread of COVID-19 infection in Delhi jails is to decongest them by releasing the prisoners on interim bail.

The plea also sought direction to the Government of the National Capital of Delhi to file an affidavit to the effect that adequate RT-PCR testing infrastructure is available for conducting the test and that no citizen is being denied the test in all government and private recognised laboratories.

It also sought direction from the Government of the National Capital of Delhi to provide test results to the patients who have undergone RT-PCR test, immediately through Whatsapp and hard copies and not later than 24-hours without waiting for them to be uploaded on the ICMR's website. (ANI)