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West Bengal jail dept prepares list of 3,000 inmates eligible

West Bengal jail dept prepares list of 3,000 inmates eligible

Kolkata: The correctional services department in West Bengal has prepared a list of 3,000 inmates who were eligible for parole and bail, in keeping with a Calcutta High Court order that sought to decongest jails amid the growing COVID-threat.

The court had last week formed a three-member panel to examine the situation in all correctional homes of West Bengal and prepare a report on the number of inmates who could be granted bail or parole to avoid crowding in prisons.

According to officials of the correctional services department, of the 3,000 inmates listed for relief, 2,000 are undertrial prisoners and 1,000 convicts.

“We have already sent the list to respective courts where cases of these 3,000 inmates have been heard or were being heard. It is now for the court to decide whether they would be released on bail and parole,” a senior official of the department said.

The list has been prepared in accordance with the guidelines laid down by the court. Convicts who have been sentenced to jail for seven years or less are the only ones who have made it to the list for parole, he said.

There are around 60 prisons in West Bengal, housing nearly 25,000 inmates. Of them, close to 7,000 are convicts and the rest undertrials.

Earlier, the department had disallowed prison visits by family members, as part of the precautionary measures to check the spread of novel coronavirus.

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