The Delhi High Court sought response from the Delhi Government over a Public Interest Litigation that sought for an extension of emergency parole for prisoners over the age of 65.
A division bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh issued notices to the government for Delhi and the DLSA (District Legal Services Authority) on the petition that sought for the extension and will further hear on the matter on March 26th.
The petition was filed by one Advocate Smit Sahni who filed the petition to extend the emergency parole given to prisoners over 65 and others who, due to facing medical conditions could contract COVID-19, justifying it by saying that 80% of the Delhi Jails were overcrowded.
The petition said that there were no social distancing norms to be considered in Delhi Jails and that prisons meant to contain 10,000 prisoners were overloaded with around 14000 prisoners even if they excluded those out on interim bail or emergency parole.
The further addition of the 4000 prisoners coming back to Tihar jail could make the situation of COVID 19 even worse and would harm the prisoners and the jail administration alike.
The petition had signed off stating that the time of emergency parole be extended to a further period of 8 weeks considering those on emergency bail have been asked by telephone to surrender by 7th February 2021.
The DLSA had earlier opposed this petition with member secretary Kanwaljeet Arora telling the bench that the petitioner-lawyer would make his argument in front of the apex court if they wanted the Supreme Court’s order to have a hold on prisoners surrender be applied to parolees too.