Arthur Road Jail
Arthur Road Jail
File Picture

Thane, May 21: After Bombay High Court ordered to decongest jail across Maharashtra, the high power committee swung into action and is releasing inmates on bail to decongest prisons. Taking a note of the second wave after the recommendation of the high power committee, around 238 inmates were released on bail and emergency parole.

Officials from the prison department claim the high power committee framed the policy to release prisoners accused of offences punishable for less than seven years or less.

"After being produced in court, their applications are rejected and the accused are being sent back to jail again. This is causing overcrowding in jail," said an official from Maharashtra Prison Department.

The official further stated that the situation has worsened in jails like Yerwada, Thane, Taloja and Arthur Road among others.

The jail officials also suggest to follow the Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh High Court’s direction to avoid arresting culprits till June 30 until it's absolutely necessary.

According to the figures provided by Maharashtra jail authorities, around 322 inmates have tested positive and undergoing treatment. It is more compared to the prisoners released on bail. It is noted that due to the present ‘second wave’, 6 prisoners and 1 prison staff have lost their lives in a matter of a few days.

The 238 inmates across Maharashtra jails include 208 inmates released on bail and 30 on emergency parole following high power committee recommendations on May 7 and May 11, 2021. However, the 208 inmates include 89 from Taloja Central Jail, 33 from Yerwada Central Jail, 26 from Chandrapur District prison and 14 from Kolhapur Central Jail and 1 from Arthur road jail among others. The 30 released on emergency parole include 23 from Taloja Central Prison, 5 from Aurangabad central prison and 2 from Yerwada Central Jail.

The 47 prisons across Maharashtra have a capacity to house 24,032 inmates and it is currently overflowing with 34,370 inmates.

The 12,751 applications for interim bail which are still pending before the various Courts and all other applications for interim bail fled during the interregnum claiming benefit of the decisions of the HPC shall be decided within 10 days from May 20. All pending applications before the authorities for emergency parole is also decided within a period of 10 days. Considering the change in the circumstances, the 3,182 prisoners, whose applications for interim bail were rejected, may apply for fresh interim bail the same shall be considered by the court.

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