The Bombay High Court Wednesday directed the Maharashtra government and Yerawada Central Jail authorities in Pune to file a compliance report on the release of prisoners on interim bail in view of the recent directions issued by the Supreme Court and the state to avoid COVID-19 outbreak in overcrowded jails.
A bench of Justice A M Badar was hearing a plea through video-conferencing by 865 undertrial prisoners from Yerawada jail, who went on hunger strike from March 26, and had written to the Bombay HC seeking speedy release of inmates. The hunger strike was called off after the HC considered to hear the plea on March 31.
The state government on Wednesday submitted that it has constituted the committee as per SC order and through it, the prison authorities are writing to concerned magistrates and courts seeking release of the prisoners and are taking appropriate steps in this regard.
On Wednesday, the government lawyer opposed the plea and claimed that it was not maintainable, as the state has been following SC guidelines and that the prisoners do not fall within the category eligible for release as laid down by the Apex Court.
The matter was posted for further hearing on May 4.
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