Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): State government has to make clear rules to decide on type of prisoners to be released on parole in view of corona spread in overcrowded state jails. It has got four week’s time to file reply in the High Court in response to a PIL (Public Interest Litigation).
Madhya Pradesh government has only two parameters to release prisoners on parole. Before deciding on parole, the prison department takes only two things in consideration, one is misuse of parole by the prisoner and second is if the prisoner is habitual offender. This has led to release of criminal-on-trial under POCSO, rape, financial frauds etc.
The instructions of High court came during a PIL that was filed by social activist PG Najpande in Jabalpur High Court. ‘How can prisoners of serious crimes like rape or POCSO be released. The rules of the prison department need to be updated and that is why I have to file PIL in the court,’ said Najpande.
‘Release of the prisoners should be decided on the basis of severity of the crime. If a rape accused is freed then he might repeat the crime again. It had happened and cited in court,’ said Surendra Verma, lawyer of the petitioner.
Prison department had to amend the Prisons Act and include conditions under which prisoners could be released on parole. Several other states have done it on the instructions of the apex court. After this PIL, MP too will come up with proper rules, said Verma.
Lawyer of the petitioner also argued that if number of prisoners that could not be released then new jails should be made. Old government buildings lying unused should be converted into jails, suggested Verma.
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