6,500 prisoners released from MP jails since COVID-19 outbreak

Bhopal: Nearly 6,500 prisoners have been released from jails in Madhya Pradesh since the coronavirus outbreak, an official said on Sunday.

Of these prisoners, as many as 3,900 have been granted parole while 2,600 have been released on interim bail by courts for a stipulated period, state prisons Deputy Inspector General Sanjay Pandey told PTI.

“We have complied with the Supreme Court’s directives,” he said.

The state has around 131 jails, of which more than 75 per cent were overcrowded, another official said.

The jails in the state altogether have the capacity to lodge 28,500 prisoners. Following the release of 6,500 prisoners, there are still nearly 39,000 inmates in the jails, the official said.

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The released prisoners were initially granted parole for 60 days and interim bail for 45 days.

“Our jails are overcrowded. We have extended the parole for another 60 days, while courts have extended the interim bail of the prisoners for another 45 days,” the official said.

Quoting a report, the official claimed Madhya Pradesh in on top in the country in the release of prisoners on parole during the lockdown, while Uttar Pradesh has released the highest number of inmates on interim bail.

The Supreme Court in March directed all states and Union Territories to constitute high-level committees to consider releasing on parole or interim bail prisoners and undertrials for offences entailing up to seven-year jail term to decongest prisons in the wake of coronavirus pandemic.

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The top court had said overcrowding of prisons is a matter of serious concern, particularly in the present context of COVID-19.

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