The jail authorities submitted before the Delhi High Court on Tuesday that six prisoners, who are lodged in several jails in the national capital, are currently infected with COVID-19.
The submission was made through a status report before a three-judge bench presided over by Chief Justice DN Patel and Justices Siddharth Mridul and Talwant Singh.
The jail authorities submitted that there are 2,318 prisoners involved in heinous crimes who have been granted interim bail by the High Court and trial courts. The report said another 2,907 prisoners involved in minor crimes have also been granted interim bails.
Senior Standing Counsel (Criminal) Rahul Mehra also informed the High Court that 6,711 inmates are presently out of jail on account of interim bail or parole granted in view of the COVID-19 pandemic and added that while as per the affidavit only six persons were suffering from coronavirus, at present the said number has come down to only three.
The said persons are currently admitted to Lok Nayak Jai Prakash (LNJP) Hospital in the national capital. Mehra further submitted before the court that while the total strength of the jails is over 10,000, the total strength of inmates is currently around 16,000.
After taking notes of all the submissions made during the hearing, the bench said it will pass the order in the evening.
The Bench had earlier issued notice over the plea, seeking modification in High Court's earlier order, and sought details from the prison authorities regarding the number of COVID-19 cases inside three jail premises in the national capital - Tihar, Mandoli and Rohini jails.
We would not permit the misuse of our orders and would revoke the extensions it the same is being misused, the bench said while hearing an application seeking modification of the high court's July 13 and July 24 orders by which it had clarified that its orders extending interim bails/paroles would be applicable to everyone granted the relief before or after March 16.
The application moved by Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad had alleged that the two orders were being misused by prisoners by seeking bail on grounds of family illness or some such other reasons, instead of seeking regular bail, and then getting the same extended on the basis of the High Court's direction.
If they (prisoners) are misusing it, we will stop it and then let them suffer," the bench said.
On August 24, the bench had extended all the interim orders passed by it and its subordinate courts till October 31 in both the criminal and civil matters pending before it. "We will extend it till the end of October," the three-judge bench had said.
( With inputs from ANI )
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