To prevent the spread of Covid-19 disease and also to achieve “physical distancing” among prisoners, Tihar authorities have carved out separate wards in jails to make sure that the “fresh inmates do not intermingle with those already inside”.
As per the Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA), an average of 25-30 fresh inmates are sent to city jails every day.
The information was revealed in the minutes of the meeting which was held Tuesday evening through video conferencing. The meeting chaired by Delhi High Court judge — Justice Hima Kohli was also attended by DSLSA Member Secretary Kanwal Jeet Arora, Delhi government’s Principal Secretary (Home)/Additional Chief Secretary Satya Gopal, and Tihar Director General (Prisons) Sandeep Goel.
Justice Kohli is heading a high-powered committee constituted on orders of the Supreme Court for laying down criteria for release of convicted and under trial prisoners to prevent over-crowding of prisons in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Flagging that “necessary precautions and also jails authorities were adhering to the call of social distancing”, Tihar Director General (Prisons) Goel informed the chair that on “an average 25-30 fresh inmates are being sent to jail these days.”
He further apprised that a separate ward in Jail Number 2 at Tihar and in Jail Number 13 at Mandoli have been carved out for the fresh male inmates above 21 years of age.
He informed that all such fresh inmates shall be kept only in these two wards of Jail Number 2 and 13 at Tihar and Mandoli, respectively.
“Whereas, for fresh women inmates, separate isolation wards have been created in Jail Number 6 while fresh male inmates between the age of 18 to 21 years would be kept at Jail number 5, Tihar…” the noting of meeting reads.
Following the Supreme Court and Delhi High Court’s March 23 orders to decongest its prisons in the wake of the novel coronavirus, the chair was informed that orders have been sent for the immediate release of 3,000 prisoners under different categories including remission of sentence, emergency parole, parole or furlough.
As per the notings, 1,425 have already been released and the remaining were not released as they are “unwilling and some are residents of States of Punjab, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.”
In two-three days, the remaining prisoners will be taken to their destination, after the Chairperson directed the Tihar DG to ensure safe transit of the prisoners from jail to their respective homes.
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