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Akhil Gogoi granted bail, Maha and Punjab to release prisoners on bail due to Covid-19

Maharashtra will release 11,000 inmates on emergency parole, Punjab to release 6,000 prisoners

28 Mar 2020

Akhil gogoiImage Courtesy: m.economictimes.com

The Guwahati High Court also granted bail to Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) leader, Akhil Gogoi who led anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests in Assam, reported Live Law. In wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Justice Ajai Lamba heard his plea in a ‘virtual court’. Gogoi was accused of committing various “criminal acts with intent to facilitate design to wage war against the State, by means of using the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Bill in Parliament as a cause.”

Justice Lamba said that the public prosecutor wasn’t able to show any evidence to indicate that Gogoi was waging a war against the State. Saying so, the court granted him bail observing that he had been in custody for 41 days and keeping him back any further would neither serve any purpose of the law, nor the investigation.

Gogoi was arrested by the Assam Police on December 12 for an anti-CAA protest, after which he was handed over the National Investigation Agency (NIA) which had taken over the probe in the matter. Though he was granted bail by the special NIA court, he had to remain in Guwahati Central Prison due to another case filed against him by the city Panbazaar Police Station (Crime Branch) in January this year.

Meanwhile, in a bid to decongest prisons in line with a Supreme Court order, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh has permitted the rlease of at least 11,000 prisoners on Emergency Parole, initially for 45 days.

In a statement released, the minister said that there are at least 45 prisons in the state which house around 60,000 prisoners. Suffering from overcrowding, prisoners here live in a congested space. As these prisons could become a potential flashpoint for the rapid spread of Covid-19, the government has decided to release undertrial prisoners and those convicted up to 7 years of imprisonment. Those charged with heinous crimes like major economic offences would not be eligible for the same. Keeping in mind the current lockdown situation in the country, the government stated that before their release, the prisoners would undergo a thorough medical check and would be issued necessary passes which would facilitate them to go to their native places.

The decision was taken after the Supreme Court ordered states and union territories to constitute a high-powered committee to meet and plan the decongestion of jails amid this outbreak.

Speaking to The Indian Express, an IPS officer said that the duration of the parole could be extended for another 30 days post the initial 45 days, if the Epidemic Diseases Act continues to remain in force. He said, “This will be done after bringing in a notification citing the Epidemic Act that is currently enforced in the state. Once the Act is withdrawn, the inmates will be expected back in the prison. The technical formalities will begin on Friday and later the inmates will be produced before their respective courts, which will then grant them bail. The procedure should take a week’s time.”

It was also reported that only those convicts would be considered for emergency parole who had earlier strictly followed the parole and furlough protocols imposed on them in the past.

According to the India Justice Report 2019, the occupancy rate in Indian prisons stood at 114%. According to the report, for every convict, India had two undertrials in its jails with 41% of the undertrial population being concentrated in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Maharashtra. Earlier too, granting bail to undertrials was seen as a measure of decongestion, especially in Pune’s Yerawada Central Prison and Mumbai’s Arthur Road jail where overcrowding is to the extent of four times the holding capacity.

Also, following suo moto orders taken by metropolitan courts in the city including those in Dadar, Borivali and Bandra, over a 100 undertrials, booked for non-serious offences were directed to be released. Courts in Raigad and Solapur too passed similar orders, directing the release of around 300 prisoners.

Chandigarh too is set to release around 6,000 prisoners from all the jails across the state. Jails Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa said that convicts would be released on parole for six weeks and undertrials would be released on interim bail for the same period. He informed that there were 24,000 people lodged in 24 jails across the state against the authorized capacity of 23,488.

In his statement, he also said that prisoners who were already out on parole would be given a six-week extension to keep decongestion measures in mind. He added that special cases under certain heads of crime, including cheating and the Excise Act would also be considered for bail and camp courts would be held on jail premises for the grant of interim bail, reported The New Indian Express.

Post the SC order to decongest prisons, the Tamil Nadu state judiciary had ordered the release of 1,180 prisoners.

The Tihar Prison authorities said they too were planning to release 3,000 prisoners – 1,500 on parole or furlough and 1,500 undertrials on interim bail in the coming days to ease the crowd in prisons.

Measures to de-congest prisons

The Model Prison Manual has provided guidelines for the safety of prisoners in light of a pandemic. These include segregation sheds for every prisoner, holding afflicted prisoners in a different building and the treatment of their clothes and barracks be done promptly.

Due to the volatile nature of the coronavirus, in some cases a person with no symptoms may still be carrying it, it is necessary that state and central governments adopt timely measures for the safety of inmates. So far, Firstpost reported that Delhi and Odisha have restricted entry of visitors and made arrangements for videoconferencing. A medical examination of inmates has also been undertaken in various prisons and they have been provided with masks and other facilities for sanitation.

However, apart from these measures and the transfer / parole of inmates, it is necessary to provide adequate safety facilities to the prison staff and undertake a wholesome health screening of every inmate to not miss out on anyone without symptoms carrying the virus.

Related:

State prisons suffer from overcrowding; no welfare policy for inmates
SC suggests release of prisoners on parole, states yet to respond
Post SC order, Tamil Nadu government releases 1,184 prisoners to curb n-Cov 19 spread
Assam groups demand Akhil Gogoi’s release after reports of ill health and NIA negligence
Akhil Gogoi granted bail

 

Akhil Gogoi granted bail, Maha and Punjab to release prisoners on bail due to Covid-19

Maharashtra will release 11,000 inmates on emergency parole, Punjab to release 6,000 prisoners

Akhil gogoiImage Courtesy: m.economictimes.com

The Guwahati High Court also granted bail to Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) leader, Akhil Gogoi who led anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests in Assam, reported Live Law. In wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Justice Ajai Lamba heard his plea in a ‘virtual court’. Gogoi was accused of committing various “criminal acts with intent to facilitate design to wage war against the State, by means of using the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Bill in Parliament as a cause.”

Justice Lamba said that the public prosecutor wasn’t able to show any evidence to indicate that Gogoi was waging a war against the State. Saying so, the court granted him bail observing that he had been in custody for 41 days and keeping him back any further would neither serve any purpose of the law, nor the investigation.

Gogoi was arrested by the Assam Police on December 12 for an anti-CAA protest, after which he was handed over the National Investigation Agency (NIA) which had taken over the probe in the matter. Though he was granted bail by the special NIA court, he had to remain in Guwahati Central Prison due to another case filed against him by the city Panbazaar Police Station (Crime Branch) in January this year.

Meanwhile, in a bid to decongest prisons in line with a Supreme Court order, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh has permitted the rlease of at least 11,000 prisoners on Emergency Parole, initially for 45 days.

In a statement released, the minister said that there are at least 45 prisons in the state which house around 60,000 prisoners. Suffering from overcrowding, prisoners here live in a congested space. As these prisons could become a potential flashpoint for the rapid spread of Covid-19, the government has decided to release undertrial prisoners and those convicted up to 7 years of imprisonment. Those charged with heinous crimes like major economic offences would not be eligible for the same. Keeping in mind the current lockdown situation in the country, the government stated that before their release, the prisoners would undergo a thorough medical check and would be issued necessary passes which would facilitate them to go to their native places.

The decision was taken after the Supreme Court ordered states and union territories to constitute a high-powered committee to meet and plan the decongestion of jails amid this outbreak.

Speaking to The Indian Express, an IPS officer said that the duration of the parole could be extended for another 30 days post the initial 45 days, if the Epidemic Diseases Act continues to remain in force. He said, “This will be done after bringing in a notification citing the Epidemic Act that is currently enforced in the state. Once the Act is withdrawn, the inmates will be expected back in the prison. The technical formalities will begin on Friday and later the inmates will be produced before their respective courts, which will then grant them bail. The procedure should take a week’s time.”

It was also reported that only those convicts would be considered for emergency parole who had earlier strictly followed the parole and furlough protocols imposed on them in the past.

According to the India Justice Report 2019, the occupancy rate in Indian prisons stood at 114%. According to the report, for every convict, India had two undertrials in its jails with 41% of the undertrial population being concentrated in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Maharashtra. Earlier too, granting bail to undertrials was seen as a measure of decongestion, especially in Pune’s Yerawada Central Prison and Mumbai’s Arthur Road jail where overcrowding is to the extent of four times the holding capacity.

Also, following suo moto orders taken by metropolitan courts in the city including those in Dadar, Borivali and Bandra, over a 100 undertrials, booked for non-serious offences were directed to be released. Courts in Raigad and Solapur too passed similar orders, directing the release of around 300 prisoners.

Chandigarh too is set to release around 6,000 prisoners from all the jails across the state. Jails Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa said that convicts would be released on parole for six weeks and undertrials would be released on interim bail for the same period. He informed that there were 24,000 people lodged in 24 jails across the state against the authorized capacity of 23,488.

In his statement, he also said that prisoners who were already out on parole would be given a six-week extension to keep decongestion measures in mind. He added that special cases under certain heads of crime, including cheating and the Excise Act would also be considered for bail and camp courts would be held on jail premises for the grant of interim bail, reported The New Indian Express.

Post the SC order to decongest prisons, the Tamil Nadu state judiciary had ordered the release of 1,180 prisoners.

The Tihar Prison authorities said they too were planning to release 3,000 prisoners – 1,500 on parole or furlough and 1,500 undertrials on interim bail in the coming days to ease the crowd in prisons.

Measures to de-congest prisons

The Model Prison Manual has provided guidelines for the safety of prisoners in light of a pandemic. These include segregation sheds for every prisoner, holding afflicted prisoners in a different building and the treatment of their clothes and barracks be done promptly.

Due to the volatile nature of the coronavirus, in some cases a person with no symptoms may still be carrying it, it is necessary that state and central governments adopt timely measures for the safety of inmates. So far, Firstpost reported that Delhi and Odisha have restricted entry of visitors and made arrangements for videoconferencing. A medical examination of inmates has also been undertaken in various prisons and they have been provided with masks and other facilities for sanitation.

However, apart from these measures and the transfer / parole of inmates, it is necessary to provide adequate safety facilities to the prison staff and undertake a wholesome health screening of every inmate to not miss out on anyone without symptoms carrying the virus.

Related:

State prisons suffer from overcrowding; no welfare policy for inmates
SC suggests release of prisoners on parole, states yet to respond
Post SC order, Tamil Nadu government releases 1,184 prisoners to curb n-Cov 19 spread
Assam groups demand Akhil Gogoi’s release after reports of ill health and NIA negligence
Akhil Gogoi granted bail

 

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Covid-19: Cops beat up bank employee, delivery boys and even a fire fighter!

The haphazard way of announcing the nationwide lockdown may have given local lower level cops a virtual carte blance to physically assault anyone on the street. 

27 Mar 2020

cops

With the entire country under lockdown the Central as well as many state governments are making their best efforts to ensure that essential services remain available for the public at all times. This means ensuring that shops selling groceries, fruits, vegetables, dairy, medicines remain open and get their supplies, uninterrupted. Hence, many states have started the practice of issuing an “Essential services card” to ensure that these services carry on unperturbed and it is easy for the police as well to identify them and let them pass.

The government has also identified home delivery of essential items through online retailers and also of medicines now, by a person holding a proper license for the same. In the initial days of the lockdown though, people employed in essential services, for whom reaching their place of work was important, such as banks or other government services as also delivery persons who need to deliver essential goods to people’s homes have faced some serious hardships in their encounters with the police.

In what was perhaps the most shocking case, a fire fighter was beaten up by an Assistant Sub-Inspector in Amritsar on Thursday. The Tribune reported that after Naresh Sharma who works for the fire brigade and was on his way to work was beaten up by ASI Tarsem Singh, fire fighters held a protest by taking fire tenders to the Gate Hakima police station. They demanded that the ASI be suspended immediately and a case be registered against him. The Gate Hakima police have written to the Police Commissioner recommending immediate suspension of the ASI.  

Earlier on March 24, Bank of Baroda Saphale Branch in Navi Mumbai described the incident in a letter to the District Manager of the Bank. The bank’s employee was intercepted on his way from his home to work by police personnel and despite of showing them hi ID card was beaten up by them.

 

 

On March 26, a Delhi cop was suspended after a video of him targeting vegetable and fruit vendors by over turning their carts went viral on social media.

 

 

Delivery persons of many e-tailers such as BigBasket, FreshMenu and Portea have faced issues with the police while making deliveries of essential items. K Ganesh, promoter of online platforms like BigBasket, FreshMenu and Portea Medical, said that over the last few days, policemen have abused, assaulted and in one case even arrested a delivery agent leading to huge disruption in their activities. "The cop there does not know that it's an essential service, he has no mechanism to allow and disallow somebody. In many cases, they are being harsh, they are beating up people. In Kerala, one of our health workers going to service a patient was arrested," he said.

Grofers, the online grocery store also voiced the same concern. The founder of Grofers, Saurabh Kumar, posted a tweet saying they were being forced to shut down their warehouses and that their trucks and delivery persons were being stopped by the police, hence hindering their service to their customers.https://ssl.gstatic.com/ui/v1/icons/mail/images/cleardot.gif

 

 

 

Another e-tailer, FreshToHome which delivers meat and related products, posted a similar tweet:

 

 

A milk delivery service called Milk Basket also faced many hurdles in their delivery and issued a statement to their customers stating that they had to dump 15,000 litres of milk and 10,000 kgs of vegetables as they were denied entry in places like Noida, Gurgaon and Hyderabad. The statement also said that their delivery agents were continually harassed by the police personnel for being on the road.

Evidently, it was necessary to sensitize and educate cops on what amounts to essential services and how the people who are actually risking their lives and making a living by doing their job should be dealt with. Without the availability and delivery of such essential services and goods, daily life will come to a standstill leading to utter chaos. Hence, treating them in such an abhorrent manner will only scare them away eventually bringing such essential services to a halt.

 

Related:

Covid-19 Lockdown: Migrant workers begin to leave city in a painfully long walk home

Shaheen Bagh: You can’t evict an idea

Covid-19: PM announces relief package for the poor

 

Covid-19: Cops beat up bank employee, delivery boys and even a fire fighter!

The haphazard way of announcing the nationwide lockdown may have given local lower level cops a virtual carte blance to physically assault anyone on the street. 

cops

With the entire country under lockdown the Central as well as many state governments are making their best efforts to ensure that essential services remain available for the public at all times. This means ensuring that shops selling groceries, fruits, vegetables, dairy, medicines remain open and get their supplies, uninterrupted. Hence, many states have started the practice of issuing an “Essential services card” to ensure that these services carry on unperturbed and it is easy for the police as well to identify them and let them pass.

The government has also identified home delivery of essential items through online retailers and also of medicines now, by a person holding a proper license for the same. In the initial days of the lockdown though, people employed in essential services, for whom reaching their place of work was important, such as banks or other government services as also delivery persons who need to deliver essential goods to people’s homes have faced some serious hardships in their encounters with the police.

In what was perhaps the most shocking case, a fire fighter was beaten up by an Assistant Sub-Inspector in Amritsar on Thursday. The Tribune reported that after Naresh Sharma who works for the fire brigade and was on his way to work was beaten up by ASI Tarsem Singh, fire fighters held a protest by taking fire tenders to the Gate Hakima police station. They demanded that the ASI be suspended immediately and a case be registered against him. The Gate Hakima police have written to the Police Commissioner recommending immediate suspension of the ASI.  

Earlier on March 24, Bank of Baroda Saphale Branch in Navi Mumbai described the incident in a letter to the District Manager of the Bank. The bank’s employee was intercepted on his way from his home to work by police personnel and despite of showing them hi ID card was beaten up by them.

 

 

On March 26, a Delhi cop was suspended after a video of him targeting vegetable and fruit vendors by over turning their carts went viral on social media.

 

 

Delivery persons of many e-tailers such as BigBasket, FreshMenu and Portea have faced issues with the police while making deliveries of essential items. K Ganesh, promoter of online platforms like BigBasket, FreshMenu and Portea Medical, said that over the last few days, policemen have abused, assaulted and in one case even arrested a delivery agent leading to huge disruption in their activities. "The cop there does not know that it's an essential service, he has no mechanism to allow and disallow somebody. In many cases, they are being harsh, they are beating up people. In Kerala, one of our health workers going to service a patient was arrested," he said.

Grofers, the online grocery store also voiced the same concern. The founder of Grofers, Saurabh Kumar, posted a tweet saying they were being forced to shut down their warehouses and that their trucks and delivery persons were being stopped by the police, hence hindering their service to their customers.https://ssl.gstatic.com/ui/v1/icons/mail/images/cleardot.gif

 

 

 

Another e-tailer, FreshToHome which delivers meat and related products, posted a similar tweet:

 

 

A milk delivery service called Milk Basket also faced many hurdles in their delivery and issued a statement to their customers stating that they had to dump 15,000 litres of milk and 10,000 kgs of vegetables as they were denied entry in places like Noida, Gurgaon and Hyderabad. The statement also said that their delivery agents were continually harassed by the police personnel for being on the road.

Evidently, it was necessary to sensitize and educate cops on what amounts to essential services and how the people who are actually risking their lives and making a living by doing their job should be dealt with. Without the availability and delivery of such essential services and goods, daily life will come to a standstill leading to utter chaos. Hence, treating them in such an abhorrent manner will only scare them away eventually bringing such essential services to a halt.

 

Related:

Covid-19 Lockdown: Migrant workers begin to leave city in a painfully long walk home

Shaheen Bagh: You can’t evict an idea

Covid-19: PM announces relief package for the poor

 

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Assam detention camps: Plea in SC to release inmates amidst Covid-19 outbreak

The plea asks the court to consider the condition of detainees under “civil imprisonment”

26 Mar 2020

Assam

A representation has been filed by an organization called “Justice and Liberty Initiative” before the Supreme Court seeking an order directing the release of the detainees lodged in detention camps in Assam in view of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country. The plea states, on basis of statement made in last session of Parliament by the Home Ministry, that there are 802 people living in the six detention camps of Assam.

From 2016 until now, 29 detainees have died in these detention camps and many of these are old and ailing, the plea states. There are two solid basis of  the plea, one is the May 2019 judgment of the Supreme Court which allowed release of detainees who had completed 3 years of detention, subject to execution of bonds; and the recent Supreme Court order directing states to form 3-member panels to make plans to release some prisoners on parole.

The plea seeks a similar relief for the 802 detainees in Assam’s detention camps. The representation made by Justice and Liberty Initiative, states that “being human beings they also have at least the basic right to live and to not die of COVID-91 in the precincts of a prison, which has despicable living conditions”. It pointed out that the detainees are neither criminals, nor a threat to the society. It also requested the court to not levy any condition of executing a bond for their release keeping in mind the poor financial status of most of the detainees.

The representation also points out that only 4 “declared foreigners” have so far been deported to their country of origin which shows the government’s inability to deport in a foreseeable future and hence pleaded that the detainees be released by taking an undertaking from them that they will present themselves before the concerned authority in case the occasion of their deportation arises.

The organization also pointed out that detention is akin to civil imprisonment and it amounts to interim imprisonment until they are deported to their country of origin. Hence, the benefit that is being envisioned for prisoners, should also be extended to the detainees in Assam’s 6 detention centres. It also prayed that a direction eb issued to the government of Assam to not detain anymore “declared foreigners” in its detention camps until the COVID-19 situation in India returns to normalcy.

This certainly is a very important consideration for the apex court to make. Since right to life under Article 21 extends to non-citizens as well, the “declared foreigners” of Assam deserve the same consideration as a prisoner’s right to life under the current health crisis being faced by the entire country because of COVID-19.
 

Related:

Kerala HC leads the way, only inevitable arrests to be made in the state

SC suggests release of prisoners on parole, states yet to respond

Indian churches put anti-Covid measures in place, some move services online

 

Assam detention camps: Plea in SC to release inmates amidst Covid-19 outbreak

The plea asks the court to consider the condition of detainees under “civil imprisonment”

Assam

A representation has been filed by an organization called “Justice and Liberty Initiative” before the Supreme Court seeking an order directing the release of the detainees lodged in detention camps in Assam in view of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country. The plea states, on basis of statement made in last session of Parliament by the Home Ministry, that there are 802 people living in the six detention camps of Assam.

From 2016 until now, 29 detainees have died in these detention camps and many of these are old and ailing, the plea states. There are two solid basis of  the plea, one is the May 2019 judgment of the Supreme Court which allowed release of detainees who had completed 3 years of detention, subject to execution of bonds; and the recent Supreme Court order directing states to form 3-member panels to make plans to release some prisoners on parole.

The plea seeks a similar relief for the 802 detainees in Assam’s detention camps. The representation made by Justice and Liberty Initiative, states that “being human beings they also have at least the basic right to live and to not die of COVID-91 in the precincts of a prison, which has despicable living conditions”. It pointed out that the detainees are neither criminals, nor a threat to the society. It also requested the court to not levy any condition of executing a bond for their release keeping in mind the poor financial status of most of the detainees.

The representation also points out that only 4 “declared foreigners” have so far been deported to their country of origin which shows the government’s inability to deport in a foreseeable future and hence pleaded that the detainees be released by taking an undertaking from them that they will present themselves before the concerned authority in case the occasion of their deportation arises.

The organization also pointed out that detention is akin to civil imprisonment and it amounts to interim imprisonment until they are deported to their country of origin. Hence, the benefit that is being envisioned for prisoners, should also be extended to the detainees in Assam’s 6 detention centres. It also prayed that a direction eb issued to the government of Assam to not detain anymore “declared foreigners” in its detention camps until the COVID-19 situation in India returns to normalcy.

This certainly is a very important consideration for the apex court to make. Since right to life under Article 21 extends to non-citizens as well, the “declared foreigners” of Assam deserve the same consideration as a prisoner’s right to life under the current health crisis being faced by the entire country because of COVID-19.
 

Related:

Kerala HC leads the way, only inevitable arrests to be made in the state

SC suggests release of prisoners on parole, states yet to respond

Indian churches put anti-Covid measures in place, some move services online

 

Related Articles


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SC suggests release of prisoners on parole, states yet to respond

While Delhi has led the way, Haryana has followed, however, other states are yet to follow through

26 Mar 2020

suprem court

Recently, the apex court ordered all states and Union Territories in India to set up high-level panels in order to consider releasing prisoners who have served a sentence of 7 years or more, on parole to decongest the already over crowded jails in the wake of the outbreak of COVID-19. Parole and furlough mean a temporary release from jail of a prisoner. While the duration of parole is not deducted from period of sentence, the time spent on furlough is as it is a reward given for good conduct.

A bench led by CJI S.A. Bobade said, “We direct that each state/UT shall constitute a high-powered committee comprising of (i) chairman of the state legal services committee, (ii) the principal secretary (home/ prison) by whatever designation is known as, (ii) director general of prison(s), to determine which class of prisoners can be released on parole or an interim bail for such period as may be…appropriate”.

The bench suggested that the committee meet every week and plan and further review the situation and its implementation. It also suggested that undertrials being tried for offence with maximum sentence up to 7 years should also be released on parole.

The bench further took into consideration the possibility of outside transmission and directed that physical presence of undertrials be dispensed with and instead trials be carried out by video-conferencing. The court banned transfer of prisoners from one prison to another except for decongestion, to ensure social distancing and medical assistance to ill prisoners. There should not be any delay in shifting sick persons to a nodal medical institution in case of possibility of infection, it said.
 

It also directed prisons in the country to make response plans for COVID-19 in consultation with medical experts. Among its other suggestions are creation of isolation wards, quarantine of new prisoners, preliminary examination of prisoners, availability of medical assistance, scanning of staff and other service providers at entry points, sanitisation and cleanliness of prison campus, wards, supply of masks, barring or limiting of personal visits for prisoners and suspension of group activities.
 

Delhi

On the same day, the Delhi government informed Delhi High Court about its decision to decongest prisons by providing options of special parole and furlough. The Delhi government also informed the court that they would amend prison rules to include provisions for ‘emergency parole’ which will authorise the government to grant parole of up to 8 weeks at once in addition to regular parole of one month subject to conditions.

 

Calcutta

So far states like Kerala and High Court of Calcutta have already formed the three-member panel as directed by the apex court to examine the number of prisoners who could be released on parole. A division bench comprising Chief Justice TBN Radhakrishnan and Justice Arijit Banerjee formed the committee with Justice Dipankar Datta, the chairman of State Legal Services Authority, as its head, and sought a report on the correctional homes by March 31. The Director General (prisons) and principal secretary, home department, are the two other members of the high court-constituted panel.


Haryana

Closely following Delhi’s footsteps is its neighbouring state, Haryana which also decided to release some of prisoners on parole. The Manohar Lal Khattar government has decided that it will release prisoners left with only 3 months of imprisonment left, by way of pardon and those sentenced up to 7 years of prison sentence, will be granted parole up to 6 to 8 weeks. In case of undertrials facing charges where maximum sentence is 7 years will be released on bail for 45 to 60 days.
 

Maharashtra

While no concrete decision has come from the state government on release of prisoners on parole, a senior lawyer wrote a letter addressed to the CM of Maharashtra, the Home Minister as well as the Additional Chief Secretary seeking immediate steps by way of granting parole to prisoners lodged in jails in Maharashtra. The state government has not yet set up the three-member panel as directed by the apex court. The letter highlights the fact that prisons in the state area over crowding by presenting data, the sanctioned capacity of all the jails in Maharashtra taken together is 24032 whereas as on February 29, 2020 there were around 36713 inmates.

The SC order can be read here:
 

 

Related:

Covid-19: Ventilator, PPE shortages put India’s frontline healthcare staff at risk

Kerala HC leads the way, only inevitable arrests to be made in the state

West Bengal announces “one-time assistance” of Rs. 1,000 for informal workers hit by Covid-19

Indian churches put anti-Covid measures in place, some move services online

SC suggests release of prisoners on parole, states yet to respond

While Delhi has led the way, Haryana has followed, however, other states are yet to follow through

suprem court

Recently, the apex court ordered all states and Union Territories in India to set up high-level panels in order to consider releasing prisoners who have served a sentence of 7 years or more, on parole to decongest the already over crowded jails in the wake of the outbreak of COVID-19. Parole and furlough mean a temporary release from jail of a prisoner. While the duration of parole is not deducted from period of sentence, the time spent on furlough is as it is a reward given for good conduct.

A bench led by CJI S.A. Bobade said, “We direct that each state/UT shall constitute a high-powered committee comprising of (i) chairman of the state legal services committee, (ii) the principal secretary (home/ prison) by whatever designation is known as, (ii) director general of prison(s), to determine which class of prisoners can be released on parole or an interim bail for such period as may be…appropriate”.

The bench suggested that the committee meet every week and plan and further review the situation and its implementation. It also suggested that undertrials being tried for offence with maximum sentence up to 7 years should also be released on parole.

The bench further took into consideration the possibility of outside transmission and directed that physical presence of undertrials be dispensed with and instead trials be carried out by video-conferencing. The court banned transfer of prisoners from one prison to another except for decongestion, to ensure social distancing and medical assistance to ill prisoners. There should not be any delay in shifting sick persons to a nodal medical institution in case of possibility of infection, it said.
 

It also directed prisons in the country to make response plans for COVID-19 in consultation with medical experts. Among its other suggestions are creation of isolation wards, quarantine of new prisoners, preliminary examination of prisoners, availability of medical assistance, scanning of staff and other service providers at entry points, sanitisation and cleanliness of prison campus, wards, supply of masks, barring or limiting of personal visits for prisoners and suspension of group activities.
 

Delhi

On the same day, the Delhi government informed Delhi High Court about its decision to decongest prisons by providing options of special parole and furlough. The Delhi government also informed the court that they would amend prison rules to include provisions for ‘emergency parole’ which will authorise the government to grant parole of up to 8 weeks at once in addition to regular parole of one month subject to conditions.

 

Calcutta

So far states like Kerala and High Court of Calcutta have already formed the three-member panel as directed by the apex court to examine the number of prisoners who could be released on parole. A division bench comprising Chief Justice TBN Radhakrishnan and Justice Arijit Banerjee formed the committee with Justice Dipankar Datta, the chairman of State Legal Services Authority, as its head, and sought a report on the correctional homes by March 31. The Director General (prisons) and principal secretary, home department, are the two other members of the high court-constituted panel.


Haryana

Closely following Delhi’s footsteps is its neighbouring state, Haryana which also decided to release some of prisoners on parole. The Manohar Lal Khattar government has decided that it will release prisoners left with only 3 months of imprisonment left, by way of pardon and those sentenced up to 7 years of prison sentence, will be granted parole up to 6 to 8 weeks. In case of undertrials facing charges where maximum sentence is 7 years will be released on bail for 45 to 60 days.
 

Maharashtra

While no concrete decision has come from the state government on release of prisoners on parole, a senior lawyer wrote a letter addressed to the CM of Maharashtra, the Home Minister as well as the Additional Chief Secretary seeking immediate steps by way of granting parole to prisoners lodged in jails in Maharashtra. The state government has not yet set up the three-member panel as directed by the apex court. The letter highlights the fact that prisons in the state area over crowding by presenting data, the sanctioned capacity of all the jails in Maharashtra taken together is 24032 whereas as on February 29, 2020 there were around 36713 inmates.

The SC order can be read here:
 

 

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Kerala HC leads the way, only inevitable arrests to be made in the state

The court made it clear though that police are at liberty to act in respect of heinous crimes

26 Mar 2020

kerala

In a suo moto case, taking cognizance of the national lockdown in place due to outbreak of COVID-19, a Kerala High Court bench comprising of Chief Justice S Manikumar, Justices C K Abdul Rehim and C T Ravikumar gave a few directions with respect to criminal justice system in the state.

Firstly, the court extended all interim orders passed by it in all cases by one month keeping in mind that litigants will not be able to approach the courts to extend the same. All recovery proceedings as well have been halted.

With respect to criminal matter, the court extended interim orders in bail and anticipatory bail cases by one month. Further, the court took cognizance of the fact that hardship is faced by the court staff as well as the staff attached to counsels, litigants and due regard needs to be given to their personal liberty under Article 21. Further, the court held, “right of personal liberty guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India should not, at any rate, be infringed by arresting an accused, except in matters where arrest is inevitable. However, the State is at liberty to take appropriate decision in respect of heinous/serious offences and in rest of the cases, State may act accordingly.”

The court also directed that in the event of any arrest, Constitutional obligation under Article 20(2) shall be followed in letter and spirit. Also taking up the issue of over-crowding in prisons, the court directed Magistrates/Judges before whom the accused is produced, depending upon the nature of offence, shall consider as to whether judicial/police custody is required or not. The court emphasized on the principle of “Bail is the rule, jail is an exception”.

However, the above directions are not made applicable to subjects relating public order/law and order and any action taken by the State Government to combat the outbreak of COVID-19 and actions taken thereof.


The Court's order can be read here:

Covid19 - Kerala hc no arrests order from sabrangsabrang

 

 

 

 

Related:

West Bengal announces “one-time assistance” of Rs. 1,000 for informal workers hit by Covid-19

Covid-19: Ventilator, PPE shortages put India’s frontline healthcare staff at risk

Covid-19 forces RSS  to shut shakhas, practice social distancing

Kerala HC leads the way, only inevitable arrests to be made in the state

The court made it clear though that police are at liberty to act in respect of heinous crimes

kerala

In a suo moto case, taking cognizance of the national lockdown in place due to outbreak of COVID-19, a Kerala High Court bench comprising of Chief Justice S Manikumar, Justices C K Abdul Rehim and C T Ravikumar gave a few directions with respect to criminal justice system in the state.

Firstly, the court extended all interim orders passed by it in all cases by one month keeping in mind that litigants will not be able to approach the courts to extend the same. All recovery proceedings as well have been halted.

With respect to criminal matter, the court extended interim orders in bail and anticipatory bail cases by one month. Further, the court took cognizance of the fact that hardship is faced by the court staff as well as the staff attached to counsels, litigants and due regard needs to be given to their personal liberty under Article 21. Further, the court held, “right of personal liberty guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India should not, at any rate, be infringed by arresting an accused, except in matters where arrest is inevitable. However, the State is at liberty to take appropriate decision in respect of heinous/serious offences and in rest of the cases, State may act accordingly.”

The court also directed that in the event of any arrest, Constitutional obligation under Article 20(2) shall be followed in letter and spirit. Also taking up the issue of over-crowding in prisons, the court directed Magistrates/Judges before whom the accused is produced, depending upon the nature of offence, shall consider as to whether judicial/police custody is required or not. The court emphasized on the principle of “Bail is the rule, jail is an exception”.

However, the above directions are not made applicable to subjects relating public order/law and order and any action taken by the State Government to combat the outbreak of COVID-19 and actions taken thereof.


The Court's order can be read here:

Covid19 - Kerala hc no arrests order from sabrangsabrang

 

 

 

 

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Covid-19: Ventilator, PPE shortages put India’s frontline healthcare staff at risk

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Delhi HC asks govt to expedite DNA testing of Delhi riot victim

The government was unable to present legal provision which requires court orders to conduct DNA test

25 Mar 2020

delhi violence

The High Court has directed the state government to expedite DNA testing of bodies of riot victims without waiting for court orders to that effect. The Court was hearing a petition moved by the parent of child who has been missing since February 25, 2020 when rioting took place in North East Delhi. 

The man has been waiting to have a DNA test confirm whether the charred remains recovered two days later belong to his son. The Court, however, noted that there was no need for the government to wait for the court’s orders to go on with the DNA testing as there was no legal provision or prerequisite to that effect.

DNA samples had already been collected from the family members as well as from the body suspected to belong to the petitioner’s son. The testing was, however, not initiated as the government was waiting for court orders for the same. The petitioner submitted that delay in the DNA testing would make it difficult for his missing person to be traced. Delhi government’s counsel submitted that it is only in the cases of a direction being given by a Court that priority is granted to such cases; but failed to put forth a legal provision to this regard.

The Court then asked the respondents to expedite the process of the DNA testing and provide the report to the petitioner as soon as it is received while also filing an affidavit in court confirming the same. The Court then specifically asked the respondents to take a call on the basis of urgency of each case and not wait for court’s order.
 

The Delhi High Court order can be read here: 

 

Delhi HC asks govt to expedite DNA testing of Delhi riot victim

The government was unable to present legal provision which requires court orders to conduct DNA test

delhi violence

The High Court has directed the state government to expedite DNA testing of bodies of riot victims without waiting for court orders to that effect. The Court was hearing a petition moved by the parent of child who has been missing since February 25, 2020 when rioting took place in North East Delhi. 

The man has been waiting to have a DNA test confirm whether the charred remains recovered two days later belong to his son. The Court, however, noted that there was no need for the government to wait for the court’s orders to go on with the DNA testing as there was no legal provision or prerequisite to that effect.

DNA samples had already been collected from the family members as well as from the body suspected to belong to the petitioner’s son. The testing was, however, not initiated as the government was waiting for court orders for the same. The petitioner submitted that delay in the DNA testing would make it difficult for his missing person to be traced. Delhi government’s counsel submitted that it is only in the cases of a direction being given by a Court that priority is granted to such cases; but failed to put forth a legal provision to this regard.

The Court then asked the respondents to expedite the process of the DNA testing and provide the report to the petitioner as soon as it is received while also filing an affidavit in court confirming the same. The Court then specifically asked the respondents to take a call on the basis of urgency of each case and not wait for court’s order.
 

The Delhi High Court order can be read here: 

 

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Post SC order, Tamil Nadu government releases 1,184 prisoners to curb n-Cov 19 spread

States like Maharashtra, Punjab and the UT of Delhi may soon follow suit to decongest prisons to curb Covid-19 there

25 Mar 2020

Jail

After the Supreme Court of India asked states to consider releasing prisoners facing sentences of up to seven years in a bid to decongest prisons to stop the spread of the coronavirus there, the Tamil Nadu state judiciary ordered the release of more than 1,180 prisoners from nine Central jails for men, five special prisons for women, district and sub-jails in the state, reported The Times of India.

On Saturday, 58 remanded prisoners, including two women from Madurai Central Prison were released. Director General of Police (Prisons) Sunil Kumar Singh told TOI, “Some 1,184 prisoners have been released from Central prisons and sub-jails in the last three days. The prisoners were released by the judicial authorities following the due process. At present 55 percent of the total accommodation of inmates are in the prisons in the state.”

It was reported that following a direction from higher authorities, the prison department submitted a list of all remanded prisoners from each prison. Upon further consultation with the respective district police departments and after adhering to legal provisions, the judicial magistrates for each district issued bail orders for people arrested in petty cases.

A total of 202 prisoners from Coimbatore Central prisons and 39 from sub-jails have been released. An official said, “They were let out on bail till March 31.”

Similarly 40 and 60 inmates from Puzhal I and Puzhal II, 112 from Vellore, 27 from Cuddalore, 126 from Trichy, 203 from Madural and 247 from Palayamkottai have been let out on bail. 67 prisoners from Salem district – 42 from Salem Central prison, nine from the special cell for women prisoners, six from Athur sub-jail, four each from Sankagiri and Omalur and two from Uthankarai have been released on parole. They have been asked to report back at the respective jurisdictional court at 11 AM on April 9, sources told Deccan Chronicle.

Other prison authorities like the Punjab Jails department submitted a proposal to the state government to release around 2,800 inmates, most petty criminals, arrested for crimes like snatching and some found with drugs, in order to decongest prisons and prevent the spread of coronavirus there.

The Maharashtra State government too produced an affidavit before the Supreme Court with a proposal to release over 5,000 inmates on temporary bail or for medical reasons to reduce the congestion in prisons. 60 jails in Maharashtra are overcrowded, with the population of inmates being 50 percent higher than the actual capacity.

The Tihar Prison authorities said they too were planning to release 3,000 prisoners – 1,500 on parole or furlough and 1,500 undertrials on interim bail in the coming days to ease the crowd in prisons.

The TOI also reported that 20 inmates of Baghpat jail in Uttar Pradesh were showing symptoms akin to those of coronavirus and had been quarantined in a separate wing. Their Covid-19 test results are awaited.


Related:

Covid-19: Courts to hear emergency cases on video conf, suspend regular functioning

Covid-19: What happens to prisoners, now?

State prisons suffer from overcrowding; no welfare policy for inmates

Post SC order, Tamil Nadu government releases 1,184 prisoners to curb n-Cov 19 spread

States like Maharashtra, Punjab and the UT of Delhi may soon follow suit to decongest prisons to curb Covid-19 there

Jail

After the Supreme Court of India asked states to consider releasing prisoners facing sentences of up to seven years in a bid to decongest prisons to stop the spread of the coronavirus there, the Tamil Nadu state judiciary ordered the release of more than 1,180 prisoners from nine Central jails for men, five special prisons for women, district and sub-jails in the state, reported The Times of India.

On Saturday, 58 remanded prisoners, including two women from Madurai Central Prison were released. Director General of Police (Prisons) Sunil Kumar Singh told TOI, “Some 1,184 prisoners have been released from Central prisons and sub-jails in the last three days. The prisoners were released by the judicial authorities following the due process. At present 55 percent of the total accommodation of inmates are in the prisons in the state.”

It was reported that following a direction from higher authorities, the prison department submitted a list of all remanded prisoners from each prison. Upon further consultation with the respective district police departments and after adhering to legal provisions, the judicial magistrates for each district issued bail orders for people arrested in petty cases.

A total of 202 prisoners from Coimbatore Central prisons and 39 from sub-jails have been released. An official said, “They were let out on bail till March 31.”

Similarly 40 and 60 inmates from Puzhal I and Puzhal II, 112 from Vellore, 27 from Cuddalore, 126 from Trichy, 203 from Madural and 247 from Palayamkottai have been let out on bail. 67 prisoners from Salem district – 42 from Salem Central prison, nine from the special cell for women prisoners, six from Athur sub-jail, four each from Sankagiri and Omalur and two from Uthankarai have been released on parole. They have been asked to report back at the respective jurisdictional court at 11 AM on April 9, sources told Deccan Chronicle.

Other prison authorities like the Punjab Jails department submitted a proposal to the state government to release around 2,800 inmates, most petty criminals, arrested for crimes like snatching and some found with drugs, in order to decongest prisons and prevent the spread of coronavirus there.

The Maharashtra State government too produced an affidavit before the Supreme Court with a proposal to release over 5,000 inmates on temporary bail or for medical reasons to reduce the congestion in prisons. 60 jails in Maharashtra are overcrowded, with the population of inmates being 50 percent higher than the actual capacity.

The Tihar Prison authorities said they too were planning to release 3,000 prisoners – 1,500 on parole or furlough and 1,500 undertrials on interim bail in the coming days to ease the crowd in prisons.

The TOI also reported that 20 inmates of Baghpat jail in Uttar Pradesh were showing symptoms akin to those of coronavirus and had been quarantined in a separate wing. Their Covid-19 test results are awaited.


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Covid-19: Courts to hear emergency cases on video conf, suspend regular functioning

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Covid-19: Courts to hear emergency cases on video conf, suspend regular functioning

Over a week ago the Supreme Court of India decided to only hear urgent cases, and conduct court matters over video conferencing. On March 23 television news reports flashed that lawyers have been told not to  visit judges chambers. 

24 Mar 2020

Courts

Delhi is under lockdown in an effort to break the Covid-19 contamination chain and contain the spread of Coronavirus, and the city may get further restrictions in the days to come. The Bar Council of Delhi has also asked the Delhi High Court to consider total shutdown till March 31, and declare it as a court vacation, reported Bar and Bench, a legal news portal.  "Even though the urgent matters are listed before the courts, the situation is similar as observed during the vacations. However, since there is no official declaration of holidays, the advocates and litigants do come to courts. In this situation, it may be considered to go for a total shutdown for the period upto 31.03.2020 which should be declared as vacation," stated the council.

A few hours later the Delhi High Court suspended its regular functioning, and those of its subordinate courts till April 4, 2020. According to the notice posted on the High Court website this move has come as a part of the steps already taken by the court to, “combat the impending threat of coronavirus (2019-nCOV) and considering the prevalent situation, particularly in view of the lockdown declared by the Government in the National Capital Territory of Delhi.”

It has also stated that it considered the requests made by Bar Associations seeking the complete closure of courts. “In case of any fresh matter of extreme urgency, the Registrar/Joint Registrar (Filing) and Registrar/Joint Registrar (Original) of this Court be contacted telephonically,” any urgent matter will now be heard over video conference it added. The numbers of the court officers who can be contacted have been made public in the notice available here:
 

All district and sessions judges have also been asked to prepare a roster of  judicial officials to deal with urgent cases of fresh arrests. Here too, a judicial officer will be nominated for each district and will be reachable over the telephone only by the lawyers and their clients.

Cases already fixed for hearing before April 4 will be, “ adjourned en-bloc to subsequent dates.”

Meanwhile, Delhi’s Tihar Jail is set to release around 3000 inmates this week. “Of these, 1500 convicts will be released on parole and other 1500 undertrial prisoners to be released on interim bail,” news agency ANI, has quoted the Tihar Jail administration.

The Delhi Government had approached the High Court to grant special parole to convicts to “decongest prisons.” According to Press Trust of India the bench took note and, “directed the Delhi government to take steps during the day to implement what it has proposed and disposed of a plea moved by two lawyers seeking decongesting of the prisons in view of the coronavirus pandemic.” 

 

Related:

Covid-19: What happens to prisoners, now?

 

Covid-19: Courts to hear emergency cases on video conf, suspend regular functioning

Over a week ago the Supreme Court of India decided to only hear urgent cases, and conduct court matters over video conferencing. On March 23 television news reports flashed that lawyers have been told not to  visit judges chambers. 

Courts

Delhi is under lockdown in an effort to break the Covid-19 contamination chain and contain the spread of Coronavirus, and the city may get further restrictions in the days to come. The Bar Council of Delhi has also asked the Delhi High Court to consider total shutdown till March 31, and declare it as a court vacation, reported Bar and Bench, a legal news portal.  "Even though the urgent matters are listed before the courts, the situation is similar as observed during the vacations. However, since there is no official declaration of holidays, the advocates and litigants do come to courts. In this situation, it may be considered to go for a total shutdown for the period upto 31.03.2020 which should be declared as vacation," stated the council.

A few hours later the Delhi High Court suspended its regular functioning, and those of its subordinate courts till April 4, 2020. According to the notice posted on the High Court website this move has come as a part of the steps already taken by the court to, “combat the impending threat of coronavirus (2019-nCOV) and considering the prevalent situation, particularly in view of the lockdown declared by the Government in the National Capital Territory of Delhi.”

It has also stated that it considered the requests made by Bar Associations seeking the complete closure of courts. “In case of any fresh matter of extreme urgency, the Registrar/Joint Registrar (Filing) and Registrar/Joint Registrar (Original) of this Court be contacted telephonically,” any urgent matter will now be heard over video conference it added. The numbers of the court officers who can be contacted have been made public in the notice available here:
 

All district and sessions judges have also been asked to prepare a roster of  judicial officials to deal with urgent cases of fresh arrests. Here too, a judicial officer will be nominated for each district and will be reachable over the telephone only by the lawyers and their clients.

Cases already fixed for hearing before April 4 will be, “ adjourned en-bloc to subsequent dates.”

Meanwhile, Delhi’s Tihar Jail is set to release around 3000 inmates this week. “Of these, 1500 convicts will be released on parole and other 1500 undertrial prisoners to be released on interim bail,” news agency ANI, has quoted the Tihar Jail administration.

The Delhi Government had approached the High Court to grant special parole to convicts to “decongest prisons.” According to Press Trust of India the bench took note and, “directed the Delhi government to take steps during the day to implement what it has proposed and disposed of a plea moved by two lawyers seeking decongesting of the prisons in view of the coronavirus pandemic.” 

 

Related:

Covid-19: What happens to prisoners, now?

 

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United against Hate condemns implication of Khalid Saifi and Ishrat Jahan in false charges

Saifi and Jahan were arrested during the anti-CAA protest in Delhi and were later falsely charged for being masterminds of the Delhi violence

23 Mar 2020

khalid saifi

The Karkardooma Court of Northeast Delhi granted bail to former Congress councilor Ishrat Jahan and three others who were arrested from an anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protest site at Khureji Khas in February.

However, activist Khalid Saifi’s bail application was dismissed. The bail orders came late and the court cited that he could not get bail due to pending investigation against him.

Surprisingly though, during this while, the special branch of the Delhi police filed another case against both, Saifi and Jahan stating that they were the masterminds of the Delhi communal riots that took place in February. Both were then produced before the Patiala House Court without the presence of a lawyer post which a Special Cell of the police decided to remand them to a custody of six days.

In light of this, United against Hate put out a statement condemning the false charges invoked against Khalid Saifi and Ishrat Jahan and demanded their immediate release. The organization has also demanded that an independent investigation team under the guidance of the Delhi High Court be instituted to probe into the Delhi violence.

The Jagatpuri police had arrested Saifi on February 26 and brutally tortured him at the police station. Due to this, he suffered a fracture in his leg and is now moving around in a wheelchair. He is a diabetic and now his health is deteriorating day by day. Even then, the Delhi police is accusing Saifi of lying saying that if he was hurt why he didn’t say so during his first court appearance. However, the fact is that Saifi’s first appearance in court was not in the court room, but at the parking lot of the premises where lawyers were not allowed entry.

In its statement, United against Hate has said that the Delhi police is avoiding nabbing the right-wing extremist elements who perpetrated the violence in Delhi during February 23 – February 25 and falsely implicating social and human rights activists in these cases.

Their statement read, “We oppose such false, offensive and fake actions of the Delhi Police, because due to this the real culprits are still being allowed to roam free while people who work for the betterment of the society are being ill-treated.”

“At a time when the country is going through a severe health crisis, when people are being prevented from going to public places and the courts are working at minimum capacity, it is shameful to see that at such a time too, human rights and social workers are being wrongly arrested by the police and not even being provided adequate judicial facilities for their protection,” the statement added.


Related:

Delhi violence: Volunteers submit memorandum of demands to Delhi gov’t about relief and rehabilitation 

Doctors need more protective gear now, before COVID-19 cases explode

Covid-19 update: Positive cases over 400, 7 deaths; lockdown in 75 districts

United against Hate condemns implication of Khalid Saifi and Ishrat Jahan in false charges

Saifi and Jahan were arrested during the anti-CAA protest in Delhi and were later falsely charged for being masterminds of the Delhi violence

khalid saifi

The Karkardooma Court of Northeast Delhi granted bail to former Congress councilor Ishrat Jahan and three others who were arrested from an anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protest site at Khureji Khas in February.

However, activist Khalid Saifi’s bail application was dismissed. The bail orders came late and the court cited that he could not get bail due to pending investigation against him.

Surprisingly though, during this while, the special branch of the Delhi police filed another case against both, Saifi and Jahan stating that they were the masterminds of the Delhi communal riots that took place in February. Both were then produced before the Patiala House Court without the presence of a lawyer post which a Special Cell of the police decided to remand them to a custody of six days.

In light of this, United against Hate put out a statement condemning the false charges invoked against Khalid Saifi and Ishrat Jahan and demanded their immediate release. The organization has also demanded that an independent investigation team under the guidance of the Delhi High Court be instituted to probe into the Delhi violence.

The Jagatpuri police had arrested Saifi on February 26 and brutally tortured him at the police station. Due to this, he suffered a fracture in his leg and is now moving around in a wheelchair. He is a diabetic and now his health is deteriorating day by day. Even then, the Delhi police is accusing Saifi of lying saying that if he was hurt why he didn’t say so during his first court appearance. However, the fact is that Saifi’s first appearance in court was not in the court room, but at the parking lot of the premises where lawyers were not allowed entry.

In its statement, United against Hate has said that the Delhi police is avoiding nabbing the right-wing extremist elements who perpetrated the violence in Delhi during February 23 – February 25 and falsely implicating social and human rights activists in these cases.

Their statement read, “We oppose such false, offensive and fake actions of the Delhi Police, because due to this the real culprits are still being allowed to roam free while people who work for the betterment of the society are being ill-treated.”

“At a time when the country is going through a severe health crisis, when people are being prevented from going to public places and the courts are working at minimum capacity, it is shameful to see that at such a time too, human rights and social workers are being wrongly arrested by the police and not even being provided adequate judicial facilities for their protection,” the statement added.


Related:

Delhi violence: Volunteers submit memorandum of demands to Delhi gov’t about relief and rehabilitation 

Doctors need more protective gear now, before COVID-19 cases explode

Covid-19 update: Positive cases over 400, 7 deaths; lockdown in 75 districts

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Delhi rape case: Four convicts executed

​​​​​​​Four men convicted in the 'Nirbhaya' rape case were hanged early on Friday morning after last minute pleas for stay on execution were rejected by the SC

20 Mar 2020

Nirbhaya

In what might bring some amount of closure in the horrific Nirbhaya rape case that took place in Delhi in December 2013, four men convicted of the crime were hanged to death at 5:30 AM on Friday at Delhi's Tihar jail. These convicts are Mukesh Singh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar Singh (31).

Nirbhaya's mother told Deccan Herald, "Finally they have been hanged. It was a long fight. Today Nirbhaya got justice. We got justice. This day is dedicated to the daughters of the country. I thank the judiciary and the government," 

The 23 year old physiotherapist was raped on the intervening night between December 15 and 16 while travelling in a bus. Originally six men were nabbed and tried in the case. Of these Ram Singh ended up allegedly committing suicide in prison in March 2013, while a juvenile was released after serving a three year sentence, leading to intense nationwide outrage. Police had filed a chargesheet in January 2013 and a Delhi court had convicted them in September 2013.

India reserves the death penalty for rarest of rare cases, and according to the court that awarded them the death penalty, this case fell under that criteria. The convicts moved a last minute plea for a stay on execution and the Supreme Court conducted a special hearing at hearing at 2:30 A.M where the convicts' pleas were rejected. Three hours later they were hung. 

Delhi rape case: Four convicts executed

​​​​​​​Four men convicted in the 'Nirbhaya' rape case were hanged early on Friday morning after last minute pleas for stay on execution were rejected by the SC

Nirbhaya

In what might bring some amount of closure in the horrific Nirbhaya rape case that took place in Delhi in December 2013, four men convicted of the crime were hanged to death at 5:30 AM on Friday at Delhi's Tihar jail. These convicts are Mukesh Singh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar Singh (31).

Nirbhaya's mother told Deccan Herald, "Finally they have been hanged. It was a long fight. Today Nirbhaya got justice. We got justice. This day is dedicated to the daughters of the country. I thank the judiciary and the government," 

The 23 year old physiotherapist was raped on the intervening night between December 15 and 16 while travelling in a bus. Originally six men were nabbed and tried in the case. Of these Ram Singh ended up allegedly committing suicide in prison in March 2013, while a juvenile was released after serving a three year sentence, leading to intense nationwide outrage. Police had filed a chargesheet in January 2013 and a Delhi court had convicted them in September 2013.

India reserves the death penalty for rarest of rare cases, and according to the court that awarded them the death penalty, this case fell under that criteria. The convicts moved a last minute plea for a stay on execution and the Supreme Court conducted a special hearing at hearing at 2:30 A.M where the convicts' pleas were rejected. Three hours later they were hung. 

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