Delhi High Court says No More Extension Of Interim Orders On Release Of Prisoners

Share on:

The Delhi High Court today said that in view of a decrease in COVID-19 cases, it was not leant to further extend any interim orders on the release of inmates from jail and would direct their staggered surrender after-Diwali. A bench headed by Justice Vipin Sanghi said that its order directing surrender would not apply to those who were either released under the recommendations of a High-Powered Committee (HPC) or orders passed by the Supreme Court. The court was dealing with a suo motu case taken up by the court to extend interim orders on account of the second wave of the pandemic. ''793 undertrials involved in heinous crimes, who were granted interim bail by the District Courts, there shall be no further extension of interim bail under the orders of this Court. As far as prisoners who were granted interim bail by this Court are concerned, they shall surrender before the concerned jail superintendent(s) on 20th November 2020,'' the court-ordered. The court had taken up the issue of extension of interim orders suo motu earlier this year as it had done in March last year when the lockdown was in place in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. Closing the proceedings, the court said that at the relevant time, there was a necessity to extend orders of interim bail and stay because the functioning of courts was curtailed due to complete lockdown declared on April 19. “But now the situation has greatly improved and all Courts at High Court and District Court level are functioning through physical mode/VC mode... There is no spread of Covid-19 in the jails, and out of about 17 thousand prisoners, not even one of them is infected and among prison staff, there is only one active case,” it observed in its order passed on October 22. As per the order, the prisoners of courts under Central District, West District, and New Delhi District shall surrender on November 8, 9, and 10, respectively, and those of East District, North-East District, and Shahdara District shall do so on November 11, 12 and 13, respectively. The prisoners of courts under North District and North-West District are scheduled for November 14 and 15, respectively while those under the jurisdiction of Rouse Avenue Court shall serve on November 19. The prisoners of courts under South-West District, South District, and South-East District shall surrender on November 16,17,18, respectively. As far as prisoners who were granted interim bail by the high court are concerned, it was directed that they shall surrender on November 20. In respect of the 3828 prisoners granted bail on the recommendation of the High-Powered Committee of the High Court, the bench directed they will be governed by the orders passed by the supreme court of India The court further said "However, as stated above, all these prisoners are at liberty to move applications for extension of their interim bails before the concerned benches of thisCourt, if so advised, and their applications will be considered on merit without being influenced by any order passed by this Full Bench".