Covid-19: Govt begins process of releasing prisoners | KNO

Directs undertrial review committees to examine cases, High-powered panel to consider parole for convicts
Covid-19: Govt begins process of releasing prisoners | KNO

Kashmir News Observer (KNO)

Srinagar, March 28 (KNO): The government of Jammu & Kashmir has begun the process of releasing prisoners to decongest jails in the wake of outbreak of deadly coronavirus, sources disclosed.

Highly placed revealed to wire service—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), that meetings of the district-level review committees are being convened to examine the cases of undertrials involved in crimes whose punishment is up to seven years. “The review committees would consider the cases for release of those who are involved in offences whose prescribed punishment is seven years or less,” they said, adding that Home department has passed directions in this regard to the Prisons Department.

Headed by the Principal and District Sessions Judge, the Under Trial Review Committee comprises of representatives from civil administration, police and prisons department. These committees have been directed to review the cases after Supreme Court directed government to consider release of convicts and undertrials lodged in jails for crimes whose quantum of punishment is up to  seven years.

As already reported by KNO, all states and Union Territories including J&K have been directed by the Supreme Court to set up a high-powered committee to consider the release of prisoners who have been convicted or are under trial for offences for which prescribed punishment is up to 7 years or less. The committee would be headed by Principal Secretary Home Shaleen Kabra and comprise chairman State Legal Service Authority Justice Rajesh Bindal and Director General Prisons V.K. Singh .

According to sources, the committee would consider parole for convicts lodged in jails of J&K. “The  cases of PSA detainees would be considered by High-Powered Committee or would be dealt separately as per existing mechanism,” they said, adding that government is also planning to release PSA detainees. On March 23, the Supreme Court had directed all states and UT to consider releasing prisoners facing sentences of up to seven years in order to decongest prisons in light of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. As exclusively reported by KNO, as many as 146 undertrails are lodged in jails of Jammu & Kashmir for offences whose quantum of punishment is up to 7 years—(KNO)