New Delhi, Oct 1 (ILNS) The Delhi High Court today disposed of a petition, seeking the release of prisoners entitled to be enlarged on bail can be released even by furnishing personal bond, without insisting on surety bonds.
The Division Bench comprising Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh said, prisoners entitled to be enlarged on bail can be released even on personal bond, without insisting on surety bonds as per the directions issued by the Apex Court in R.D. Upadhyay vs State of Andhra Pradesh & Ors, wherein the Apex Court took note of the fact that a large number of persons languish in prisons despite bail orders being passed on account of their inability to furnish bail bonds. The Supreme Court had directed that eligible prisoners can be released even on personal bond, without insisting on surety bonds.
The bench,s direction came while hearing a plea filed by a lawyer last year, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, concerning issues relating to the safety and security of prisoners lodged in various jails across the country.
As the Apex Court and the Delhi High Court are already seized of similar issues and have passed suitable orders time and again in this regard, the petitioner, who appeared in person, informed the Bench that most of the prayers sought in the petition have now become infructuous.
He submitted thereby that only a limited relief is pressed by him, which relates to the release of prisoners in accordance with the R.D. Upadhyay decision.
In light of the submissions made by the party-in-person, the Bench asked the Delhi Government, the Centre and the Director-General of Prisons, Tihar Jail Headquarters, to release the prisoners in accordance with law, rules, regulations and government policies, keeping in mind the decisions rendered by the Apex Court in respect of the release of prisoners, including the decision in the R.D. Upadhyay case, as expeditiously as possible.
The petition, filed in 2020 by Advocate Vikas Padora, urged for some urgent measures to contain the spread of Novel Coronavirus in jails across India, including providing face-masks and hand sanitisers to jail inmates, setting up of isolation wards in the jail premises for lodging infected inmates, disinfecting the jail premises and maintaining the highest standards of hygiene in prisons.
It said, “It is most respectfully prayed that directions may be passed to Courts to consider the bail applications of inmates more liberally (wherever it is prudent and reasonable) so that the prisons can be decongested, which may supply some scope of containing and controlling the outbreak of Covid-19 inside jails.
The petitioner said, It is not a prayer that bails should be granted to inmates mechanically, but it is the humble submission that bail should not be denied to inmates if the past conduct of inmates is satisfactory and there is no possibility of the inmate to abscond the process of law. The rule which is enunciated by the Supreme Court and various High Courts in numerous cases as “Bail not Jail” requires to be considered in a more liberal manner during this hour of need, the petitioner added.
The plea mentioned the Supreme Court order of July 16, extending emergency parole of prisoners and directing that prisoners released by states to decongest jails, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, should not be asked to surrender until further orders./ILNS/SNG/IL/