Ministry steps in to help poor behind bars

Updated on Jan 27, 2010 11:20 PM IST

Mohammed Naushad (35) was arrested for stealing Rs 700 in 2007. He was languishing in jail for more than 2 years before being released on Wednesday.

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Hindustan Times | BySumit Saxena, New Delhi

Mohammed Naushad (35) was arrested for stealing Rs 700 in 2007.

He was languishing in jail for more than 2 years before being released on Wednesday.

Naushad was given bail in April 2009 but was lodged in the jail, as he did not have enough money for his bail bonds.

Forty-two undertrials serving time for petty offences were released after a special hearing at Patiala House Court complex on Wednesday.

The proceedings were held in pursuance of 'National Mission for Delivery of Justice and Legal Reforms to the Undertrial Prisoners', a plan launched by the Law Ministry. A special hearing organised by the Delhi Legal Services Authority (DLSA).

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Ajay Pandey heard the 46 cases listed for the release or bail to offenders involved in petty offences like theft, pick pocketing, snatching and robberies.

Union Law Minister Veerappa Moily along with Delhi High Court Justice Madan B. Lokur, Justice Indermeet Kochhar and Justice Manmohan also attended the hearing inside the courtroom for nearly an hour.

Gautam Manan, DLSA project officer, said, “We started this scheme to benefit the poor who could not generate funds despite getting bail.”

Forty-two prisoners were released out of which 30 implicated in various petty crimes were disposed off completely.

In case of 12 prisoners, who were unable to furnish bail bonds due to poverty, the court relaxed their bail conditions and ordered their release on bail. These 12 prisoners would continue to continue to attend their respective trials.

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