In wake of the lockdown imposed to contain the spread of Coronavirus, Kerala High Court on Monday granted interim bail to the under-trial prisoners and remanded accused in the state till April 30. The court said that the accused should report to the local police station immediately after getting bail. Those released on bail must strictly follow the lockdown instructions, the High Court said.
"Those who have been convicted of imprisonment for less than seven years will get bail. Prison Superintendents will release the prisoners who are eligible. But regular offenders are not entitled to get bail," the court said.
After the bail period, the accused should appear in the respective trial courts, where a decision will be taken on their bail by the respective trial courts.
Earlier on March 28, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath took a big decision to release 11,000 prisoners from the in-state jails on parole. The inmates of 71 prisons who have served less than seven years are being released on parole for eight weeks.
Furthermore, the Punjab government had also announced the release of 6,000 prisoners on parole. At the same time, the Tihar Jail Administration made the same announcement, saying that due to the Coronavirus, about 3,000 prisoners will be released in the next 3-4 days.
These developments come after the Supreme Court's direction to all state governments to release undertrial prisoners, who are facing charges having less than seven years imprisonment, to reduce overcrowding of jails amid the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak.
Meanwhile, Health Ministry's joint secretary Lav Aggarwal on Monday said that India has reported 92 fresh cases of the novel Coronavirus and four deaths in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of cases to 1071 and the number of deaths to 29, the Union Health Ministry added.
Aggarwal claimed that as per their analysis, the rate in the rise of new positive cases in a "developing country" like India is slower than that of other "developed countries" due to "public cooperation and (the government's) pre-emptive actions". The underlying reference was clearly to Western countries like the United States, Spain, and Italy which have become the new hotspots of the Coronavirus pandemic and whose health system has been overwhelmed.
(With Inputs from ANI)