Updated: March 16, 2020 1:45:16 pm
Amid fears over the spread of coronavirus among prisoners, the Supreme Court on Monday took suo moto cognisance of overcrowding in prisons across the states and sought a response from authorities on the measures taken to prevent the outbreak by March 20.
Taking note of the condition of prisons as well as remand homes, the court said some states have not taken appropriate measures to prevent the spread of the virus. “Mass gathering is a huge problem and it can become the centre for the spread of coronavirus,” the court observed.
The apex court issued a notice to the director-general of prisons as well as chief secretary of states and Union Territories and directed them to appoint a responsible officer who could assist the court in the matter.
“We need to formulate guidelines and directions should be issued with respect to overcrowding of prisons in the wake of coronavirus,” the court said.
Over 100 people have tested positive for the virus across the country. Two persons have died so far.
Several public places and educational institutions across states have decided to remain shut till March 31 over fears of the spread of the virus.
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