In compliance with the recommendations made by the High-Powered Committee dated 12th May, the Andhra Pradesh HC has directed that all convicts and undertrial prisoners to be released on interim bail of 90 days, who were again readmitted to respective prisons after their release last year, unless the concerned authorities deem them disqualified.
The Bench consisted of Justices C Praveen Kumar and Lalitha Kanneganti. It directed the release of other prisoners and undertrial prisoners, who are currently in custody for crimes that are punishable up to imprisonment of 7 years or less and are hence duly qualified for the release following the terms of HCP’s resolution of the last year. However, the exception shall have pertained to the convicts who are under trial for offences under section 376 of the IPC and the POSCO Act.
In addition, the Court guided that the authorities must maintain the COVID protocols even inside Juvenile Remand Homes and also directed the DGP to upload prison capacity and the occupants’ statistics in all jails in the State.
Directions issued are as follows:
- Principal Secretary, Home Department, to issue directions to the DGP and Station House officers of Andhra Pradesh to critically follow the guidelines that have been issued by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Arnesh Kumar vs. the State of Bihar; referred to previously while arresting offenders in relation to the offences which are punishable with imprisonment for a term up to 7 years or less.
- Release on interim bail: All convicts and under trial prisoners who have been released on interim bail earlier, pertaining to the resolutions of the HCP on 26.03.2020 and 28.03.2020 have been re-admitted to the prison unless deemed disqualified.
- Further, a mandatory undertaking shall be written by the prisoner that he/she shall remain in their home under strict surveillance for 14 days in-home quarantine.
This matter is to be heard 6 weeks from now.