COVID-19 In Odisha: High Powered Committee Issues Guidelines To Decongest Prisons

Cuttack: A high-powered committee chaired by Justice Sanju Panda, Acting Chief Justice, Orissa High Court met over video-conferencing to discuss matters related to prisons in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.

Home Secretary Sanjeev Chopra and DG Prisons Santosh Upadhyay attended the meeting as members of the committee. The committee issued guidelines for de-congestion of jails specially with respect to protection of health and welfare of the prisoners.

For Convict Prisoners:

The following class of convict prisoners may be considered for expeditious parole:

All convict prisoners having no pending under-trial cases and sentenced for term of 7 years or less with or without fine.

All convict prisoners sentenced in one case for 7 years or less, with or without fine and having one or more under-trial cases. In such cases the prisoner should have availed last one parole peacefully and should be on bail in under-trial case(s)

Convicts who are already on parole or furlough, their special parole may be extended as per discretion of competent authority.

All the convicts above the age of 65 years may be granted special parole, except those involved in multiple cases or covicted under NDPS Act or POCSO Act or for rape and sexual offences, or acid attack or those who are foreign nationals.

A number of similar guidelines have been issued for under-trial prisoners. Besides, special directives have been issued for maintaining order in prisons to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

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