COVID-19: Kerala to release over 1000 prisoners on parole till April 30

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Kerala high court orders release of under-trial and remand prisoners for a month

The Kerala High Court on Monday granted parole till April 30 to all prisoners in the state who are either under-trials or remand prisoners in the light of the coronavirus spread.

The order will be applicable to only those who are involved in offences punishable with jail terms up to seven years. Habitual criminals will, however, not get the benefit of this parole.

According to reports, there are 8600 prisoners in 54 jails across the state and this move could benefit around 1000 prisoners. The court has directed that all such prisoners who go on parole, have to first report to their nearest police station and remain in their homes.

In case of any violation, the police can arrest such people and put them back in jail.

The court order came on the Supreme Court direction to all states and union territories on March 16 to submit written replies on steps being taken to prevent the spread of the pandemic among prisoners and juveniles.

The apex court had on March 23 suggested that prisoners convicted of, or charged with, offences involving jail terms of seven years or less could be considered for parole or interim bail.

Several states, including Delhi and Uttar Pradesh have already released thousands of jail inmates in the wake of the apex court direction. Epidemiologists had cautioned that the jails could become potential hotspots of the virus since they are bursting at the seams.

They had warned that things could spiral out if the virus starts spreading inside the prisons.

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