New Delhi, March 23 : The Delhi government on Monday informed the High Court that it would amend its prison rules immediately to provide for special parole and furlough to eligible prisoners so as to help decongest jails in the national capital.
The High Court subsequently directed the Aam Aadmi Party government to implement its proposal to decongest prisons in view of the coronavirus scare.
A division bench headed by Justice Hima Kohli and comprising Justice Subramonium Prasad was told by the Delhi government's additional standing counsel Anuj Aggarwal that a notification would be issued within a day to amend prison rules to include these two new provisions.
The court was hearing a plea moved by two lawyers who sought decongesting of the prisons in view of the coronavirus scare.
The petitioners had sought the release of all inmates above the age of 50, those not medically fit, or undergoing imprisonment for minor offences.
"...coronavirus is spreading at a very fast rate and if proper precaution is not taken, many more fatalities may occur.
That the prisons in Delhi are already overcrowded and a single case of coronavirus can affect the entire prison inmates and jail staff.
That the government and courts, both within and outside the country, have taken measures to prevent crowding to avoid the spread of coronavirus," the plea read.
The petitioners said they were not seeking unconditional release of inmates but with conditions, i.e., upon furnishing bail bonds and other undertakings and sureties as may be imposed by court.