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PIL in Delhi High Court seeks vaccination of all prisoners out on bail for COVID-19

PIL in Delhi High Court seeks vaccination of all prisoners out on bail for COVID-19

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New Delhi [India], February 11 (ANI): A petition has been moved in Delhi High Court seeking direction to the Centre and Delhi Government to arrange and facilitate COVID-19 vaccination of all prisoners who were out on bail.
The Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was moved by advocates Abhilasha Shrawat, Rahul Sharma and Deepak Ghai.
In the petition, the advocates have urged the court to issue a direction to the Centre and Delhi Government to arrange and facilitate COVID-19 vaccination of all prisoners who were out on bail and to grant the extension of interim bail to the prisoners after taking into consideration the entire facts and circumstances.
The advocates said that the present PIL has been filed for directing the High-Powered Committee (HPC), which last assembled on January 14, 2021, to take appropriate measures for the vaccination of Under Trial Prisoners (UTP's) and convicts who were granted interim bail in terms of the criteria passed by the Division Bench of High Court.
The petition read that "it is submitted that the members of the Committee have resolved that in case the present situation of COVID-19 remains the same or shows a declining trend, then it shall not be recommendable to extend the emergency parole of the convicts on grounds of COVID-19 and hence all the prisoners who are out on interim bail were directed to surrender."
"Thus, the prisoners released on emergency parole/interim bails will be required to surrender on their due date w.e.f. February 7, 2021. However, before coming to this conclusion, the members of the Committee failed to consider the fact that the D.G. Prison had already informed the Court that one jail inmate of Jail no. 13 Mandoli, before being produced in court for physical hearing was tested positive for COVID-19 and subsequently, one more inmate from the same barrack was also found positive, " the plea said.
"Thus, to lessen out the entire probability and taking into consideration all the facts and circumstances including the actual holding capacity of Delhi Prison, the present occupancy, the number of UTP'S who are likely to surrender on their respective dates and the period of 14 days for keeping them in isolation cells before sending them to regular jail, it is incumbent for Central and Delhi Government to arrange and facilitate COVID-19 vaccination to all prisoners who were out on bail/emergency parole or furlough to curtail transmission of coronavirus from outside to prisons or detention centres to locations, " the plea added. (ANI)

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