COVID-19 crisis: Kerala releases 568 prisoners on parole following SC directives

Thiruvananthapuram: As part of endeavors to decongest jails in view of the highly infectious second wave of COVID-19, as many as 568 prisoners, lodged in various prisons across the state, have been released on parole in Kerala.

Besides them, 932 other convicted prisoners may also be released temporarily soon while around 350 remand prisoners would be freed on interim bail.

The decision was taken based on a recent Supreme Court directive ordering the immediate release of prisoners with an aim to avoid overcrowding in jails in the wake of the unprecedented spread of the pandemic.

A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana, on May 8, said all those who were allowed to go out on bail in March last year by the high-powered committees of states and Union Territories (UTs) during the first wave of COVID-19 be granted the same relief now also without any reconsideration to avoid delay.

High Court judge, Justice C T Ravi Kumar, home secretary T K Jose and DGP Rishiraj Singh comprise the High- Powered Committee (HPC) in Kerala, set up as per directive of the top court.

Over 6,000 prisoners are lodged in a total of 54 jails, including three central jails in Kerala.

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