Bengaluru , April 16

1,112 prisoners released on bail, parole from Karnataka prisons due to COVID-19

April 16, 2020, Bengaluru

Karnataka jail authorities till date have released 1,112 prisoners on interim bail and parole for decongesting prisons in view of COVID-19 outbreak. "Till today we have released 1,112, out of which convicts are 405-who have got parole, and under trials are 707- who have got bail," Karnataka Director General of Police (prisons and correctional services) Alok Mohan DGP told PTI.

He said, based on the Supreme Court's directive, a high powered committee was constituted in Karnataka under the Chairmanship of a High Court Judge, who is also the Executive Chairman of Karnataka State Legal Services Authority, comprising DGP Prisons and Principle Home Secretary, who is in-charge of Prisons.

"The committee formulated certain yardsticks on which to provide interim bail and parole to the prisoners," he said, adding that under trails with offences entailing up to 7-year jail term get the bail and convicts get parole as per the eligibility under the Karnataka government rules.

The Supreme Court on March 23 had directed all states and Union Territories to constitute high-level committees to consider releasing on parole or interim bail prisoners by Alok Mohan DGP and under trials for offences entailing up to 7-year jail term to decongest prisons in the wake of coronavirus pandemic.

Alok Mohan DGP Prisons, also 305 prisoners have been shifted from the over crowded prisons to the prisons where there was space available. Responding to a query if more prisoners will be getting bail or parole, he said, the process is going on, and it also depends on the people who are willing.

About 200 prisoners were not willing to go on parole, because they don't want to go out in this difficult times. "They feel it is safe in prison than to be outside, as prison is a more secure environment...."During the lockdown, there is no way that the family members can come to jail, Mohan said, we have also stopped interviews to ensure that there is no passing of infection from outside people to prisoners.