COVID-19: Medha Patkar approaches SC for interim release of prisoners charged under Special Acts

New Delhi [India], September 13 (ANI): Social activist Medha Patkar approached the Supreme Court for interim release of prisoners charged under Special Acts amid COVID-19.

September 13, 2020

National

3 min

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New Delhi [India], September 13 (ANI): Social activist Medha Patkar approached the Supreme Court for interim release of prisoners charged under Special Acts amid COVID-19.
Patkar along with and social activist Meera Sadanand Kamath has approached the Apex Court challenging the August 5 judgment of the Bombay High Court whereby all such convicted prisoners who are undergoing punishment under the Special Acts were refused to be released on interim bail in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.
Patkar’s organization, National Alliance of People’s Movements, has also filed the plea for the interim release of prisoners charged under Special Acts amid the COVID-19.
The petition stated that the top court on March 23 ordered that all States should constitute a high-powered committee for the release of prisoners on interim bail or emergency parole due to COVID-19.
The Maharashtra State High Powered Committee (HPC) was constituted and it had directed that all persons who are accused or convicted of offences punishable with imprisonment of 7 years or less shall be released on interim bail or emergency parole, however, the Committee held that these directions would not apply to the prisoners who are accused of offences under the Special Acts or of serious economic offences.
Thereby, the Committee exclude prisoners charged under Special Acts from being considered for such interim release, and Patkar had challenged this decision before the Bombay High Court, which rejected the petition.
Approaching the Apex court, the plea said that emergency parole was denied on the ground that these Special Acts provide for additional restrictions on grant of bail in addition to those under the Code of Criminal Procedure.
The benefit of emergency parole was denied to the prisoners convicted for serious economic offences, bank scams or offences under the special Acts like MCOC, PMLA, MPID, NDPS, UAPA etc., it added.
The plea sought a direction that the case of 17, 642 undertrial prisoners lodged in jails of Maharashtra for temporary release on interim bail, pending the final hearing in the matter, be considered. (ANI)

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