The Bar Council of Uttar Pradesh has written a letter to the acting Chief Justice Sanjay Yadav of the Allahabad High Court demanding the award of temporary bail or parole to prisoners facing up to seven years imprisonment for the decongestion of jails amid the second wave of COVID-19.
The second wave of the COVID pandemic, which the Bar Council Chairman states have proven to be more deadly and dangerous, is stated in the letter.
Hundreds of prisoners have tested positive for the infection, the majority of whom broke social distancing rules due to prison overcrowding, according to the letter.
"The only available option to help relieve congestion and prevent virus transmission tends to be decongesting jails so that social distancing can be preserved to prevent virus spread," the letter reads.
According to the Bar Council, considering petitions for bail and release of undertrial and sentenced criminals is a pressing necessity. It is argued that human rights must take precedence over constitutional considerations in order to protect life and health.
The letter further mentions that the State legislature previously convened a High-Powered Committee and made a legal recommendation to free under-trial prisoners/convicts for offences punishable by incarceration for no more than 7 years in order to decongest prisons.
In light of this, the Bar Council pleaded judicial intervention on behalf of "prisoners who are languishing in custody," citing the spread of COVID-19 as a result of prison overcrowding and the fact that prisoners lack access to prompt justice. Concerns have since been expressed that the conditions of prison are unfit for human life and safety.
As a result, the Bar Council has requested that sufficient orders be issued for the release of under-trial inmates / sentenced people who are awaiting trial who have been convicted of crimes punishable by up to seven years in jail.