The Delhi High Court on Monday asked the prison authorities whether they have a sufficient number of isolation wards to accommodate all the prisoners, who may surrender if the interim orders extending the bails are revoked.
All the interim order include stays, bails and paroles have been extended till the end of October by the High Court to prevent overcrowding in prisons in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A special bench of the High Court presided by Chief Justice DN Patel and Justices Siddharth Mridul and Talwant Singh issued notice to respondents on a plea alleging misuse of the extension order by prisoners and listed the matter for further hearing on October 16.
The court was hearing a plea seeking modification in the High Court's earlier order extending interim orders claiming that the two orders were being misused by prisoners as some of the prisoners were seeking interim bail on grounds of family illness or other reasons and then getting the same extended on the basis of the High Court's direction.
The three-judge bench also sought the Director General (DG) Prisons presence before it on the next date of hearing to assist the bench, however, it was informed that the DG Prisons has been infected with COVID-19.
The court has asked the prison authorities to inform it of the number of prisoners who are currently out on bail and those inmates whose interim bail are expiring next month.
The Delhi High Court had on August 24 extended till the end of October all the interim orders, which were to expire on August 31, before it due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The interim orders include stays, bails, and paroles.
The special bench decided to further extend all the interim orders till October 31 as litigants and advocates are unable to appear before the court due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
( With inputs from ANI )
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