Following a Supreme Court (SC) order, Kapurthala Modern Jail has forwarded a list of criminals facing undertrials to the concerned sessions judges for their release on bail.
As per Section 436-A of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), it is mandatory for the court to release the accused, who were jailed for committing petty offences, on bail if they have undergone almost half of the period for which they were sentenced.
This provision will not apply to those who are charged under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act of 1985, or are facing trials for heinous crimes like murder.
The SC has directed all jurisdictional magistrates, chief judicial magistrates and sessions judges to hold court sittings and implement the provisions of Section 436-A of CrPC.
The court has also directed all superintendents of jails across the country to send a list of prisoners facing undertrials to the concerned session judges and provide all necessary facilities for holding the court sittings.
Kapurthala Modern Jail has more than 3800 prisoners out of which around 1000 prisoners are convicted and others are facing under trials.
Paramjit Singh Sandhu, superintendent of police (jails) said, "We have sent the list of 2,800 names of prisoners facing undertrials for petty cases, including theft, snatching and eve-teasing, to the concerned session judges."
He said judicial officers would later assess the nature of crimes committed by undertrial prisoners and grant bail to those who have served half the maximum sentence awarded for the respective offence.
Singh said this SC directive would not only lower the burden of judiciary and jail authorities, but would also help minimise the funds spent on the upkeep of the prisoners.