Legal hurdles set the bar for release of inmates at Pune’s Yerawada Central Jail

Updated on Mar 29, 2020 04:28 PM IST

The district legal service authority had send a personal bond for 79 prisoners in the light of the pandemic

Prisoners being released from Yerawada jail on Saturday following the Covid-19 outbreak.(Sanket Wankhade/HT PHOTO)
Prisoners being released from Yerawada jail on Saturday following the Covid-19 outbreak.(Sanket Wankhade/HT PHOTO)
Hindustan Times, Pune | ByShalaka Shinde

Prisoners from all jails across Maharashtra have been released in an effort to reduce congestion in prisons in light of Covid-19. Even as local courts are granting personal bonds to prisoners in cases that invite seven years jail time upon conviction, the jail authorities have found that some of the inmates have more serious cases registered against these them - making their release difficult.

A total of 23 inmates was released from Yerawada jail on Saturday.

At Yerawada Central Jail, the district legal service authority (DLSA) had send a personal bond for 79 prisoners in the light of the pandemic. “We have received 79 personal bonds from the court. However, on Saturday only nine of the 79 were eligible for release as all the others were facing time in multiple other cases. Along with these personal bonds, we are also releasing prisoners through regular bail procedure. Therefore, a total of 23 prisoners - 14 on regular bail and nine through personal bond - were released on Saturday. The 70 other personal bonds could not be executed,” said an official of the prison administration who did not wish to be named.

For the prisoners who are being released, there was no official effort made by the jail authorities to provide them transport from jail to home in the light of the lockdown announced all over the country. While some were seen using lower-level official’s phones to contact relatives, some others were seen walking out of the jail gates and onto the roads.

According to a statement issued by the office of Sunil Ramanand, additional director general of Maharashtra prison, on Friday, a total of 239 prisoners were released from 22 prisons across Maharashtra. The highest number of inmates were released from Mumbai - 68 - followed by 26 from Wardha, 24 from Dhule, 21 from Taloja and 18 from Yerawada on Friday.

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