New Delhi: Supreme Court on Friday called for a detailed report of the rules and regulations followed while releasing prisoners from jail amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The matter has been taken up after a long time. We don’t know what guidelines have been framed. That’s why we are asking states to give details,” a bench comprising Chief Justice NV Ramana, and Justices L Nageswara Rao and AS Bopanna said while calling for a uniform set of guidelines to be put in place for all States to govern such release of prisoners.
The court also directed that prisoners released by states to decongest jails in the wake of Covid-19 following its May 7 order should not be asked to surrender until further orders.
Senior advocate Dushyant Dave asked if the orders of the Supreme Court should be extended in the face of an impending third Covid-19 wave. “In some states, the prisoners have been asked to report back to the prisons. We need to get data from the states,” he said.
“There have been instances where prisoners have filed fake copies. That’s why jail authorities ask for authenticated stamped copies,” said Solicitor General Tushar Mehta while maintaining that all guidelines prepared by state-level high-powered committees, headed by a High Court judge, should be taken into consideration.
“We are introducing FASTER scheme for faster and authentic transmission of court orders. Asking Secretary General of the court to give report and hope to start the scheme within one month,” the SC said, asking states to ensure that jails have internet access.