40% inmates released from Burail Jail during Covid-19 lockdown
Chandigarh About 40% of Chandigarh’s Burail Jail inmates were released on parole, including those under trial and convicted prisoners to decongest the prison during the Covid-19 lockdown period from March 26 to June 14, shows data from District Legal Service Authority (DLSA).
Of the 576 prisoners eligible for release, 397 prisoners were allowed to leave by prison authorities, the data reveals.
There were 1,007 inmates in Burail Jail as of March 26 this year (it has capacity of 1,120) of whom 420 were convicts, 583 were under trial and four were minors.
The parole was facilitated following the Supreme Court’s (SC) directions in March through a high-powered committee headed by chairperson, State Legal Service Authority, justice Jaswant Singh, including principal secretary home department Arun Kumar Gupta, IG prisons Om Veer Singh and CJM-cum DLSA secretary Ashok Kumar Mann.
The committee also decided in a May 16 review meeting that inmates would return to jail in a staggered manner from July 2 to July 22. They would be isolated for 15 days in a special ward set up in the prison before being screened.
However, the final call on extension of parole will be taken at a review meeting by the end of July depending on the Covid-19 situation.
According to the data accessed by Hindustan Times, out of 263 persons under trial, just 118 were released whereas out of 334 convicted prisoners eligible for parole, 147 were released.
Meanwhile, Mann said 87 prisoners who were eligible could not be released because of procedural errors concerning their sureties bonds and other such domains.
Sixty two special parole applications were rejected while 30 were still pending.
Mann also added that the prisoners were given special parole for 56 days according to SC directions.