Supreme Court Refuses To Pass Any ‘General Directors’ To Release Prisoners In Order to Decongest Jails Amid COVID-19

On Friday, the Supreme Court has refused to issue general directions to release undertrial prisoners due to COVID -19 stating that it is an issue to be considered by the Jurisdictional high courts. 

Chief Justice SA Bodbe, justice AS Bopanna and Justice Hrishikesh Roy made these observations when they heard PIL by Activist Jagdeep chhokar who was asking for uniform directions to release on bail or parole an undertrial in a case entailing punishment up to 7 years in jail. The petition was filled by Advocate Prashant Bhusan on behalf of Mr Chhokar.

At time of hearing CJI noted that it’s not possible to issue general directions as these directions should be issued by the states.

Prashant Bhushan who was appearing for petitioner informed the court that the high powered committee should consider releasing those chargd with minor offences,but they are not released. 

CJI stated that as the situation in every case is different so specific directions cannot be issued.

Mr. Bhusan agreed with chief justice Bobde and he suggested that the court can ask each state for status report. 

The Bench then made their points clear that they are not saying that the petitioners are wrong, they just don’t agree with them regarding uniform directions.  The Bench also added that they would like to have the view of High Court regarding this.

The court allowed the petitioner to withdraw the plea and move to the jurisdictional high courts.

By Sonika bisht by Law college Dehradun