In a bid to decongest the jails in the national capital amid the coronavirus lockdown, a High-Powered Committee constituted by Delhi government has relaxed the criteria for the release of the prisoners on interim bail.
The committee, on March 28, relaxed the norms allowing under-trial prisoners facing trial in a case that prescribes a maximum sentence of seven years or less to be released on interim bail.
"Even if, the under trial prisoner has more than one case and in all other cases, he is on bail, except the one for which he is being considered and the same prescribes punishment for seven years or less," an official said.
The committee, however, decided to exclude all inmates undergoing trial for intermediary or large quantity recovery under NDPS Act, those undergoing trial under Section 4 & 6 of POCSO Act, for acid attack, foreign nationals, and those facing trial under Prevention of Corruption Act (PC Act) and PMLA.
Those facing cases being investigated by the CBI, ED, NIA, Special Cell Police, and Terror related cases, cases under Anti-National Activities and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, etc will also not be considered for interim bail.
Approximately 500 under trial prisoners were identified on the basis of earlier criteria to whom interim bail for a period of 45 days have been granted. While some of these convicts and prisoners have been released, others are in the process of being released.
Delhi government had, in consonance to the directions of the Supreme Court, constituted a High Powered Committee consisting of Justice Hima Kohli, Executive Chairperson of State Legal Services Authorities, Principal Secretary (Home) and Director General (Prisons).
On earlier directions of this committee, a total number of 1,500 convicts have been identified for their being released on "emergency parole" for a period of eight weeks.
The committee has further decided to remit the period of sentence from 1 month to 6 months depending upon the imprisonment awarded to the convicts.