07 April 2020
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to pass a order directing the central and state governments to examine granting parole or interim bail to prisoners - above 50 years, suffering from diabetes, high blood pressure and respiratory problems - amid the coronavirus outbreak.
A Bench of Chief Justice S.A. Bobde and Justices L. Nageswara Rao said, "We will not pass any blanket order."
The top court said it couldn't comment on this matter, but from the court's perspective it should be case-by-case. The Bench asked the petitioner to make an individual representation before the government.
The apex court also allowed petitioner-in-person Amit Sahni to withdraw the plea. He could advise individual prisoners, suffering from diseases, to make a representation to the authorities for their release, it said.
The petitioner said as per the World Health Organisation (WHO), older persons and persons with co-morbidity, like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart and lung diseases, could be adversely affected by the coronavirus infection.
He also cited the apex court's suo moto cognizance on the jail overcrowding as a major concern in the backdrop of the coronavirus outbreak.
The apex court on March 23 had directed all states and Union Territories to set up high-level committee to examine giving parole or interim bail to prisoners and under-trial for offences entailing up to seven-year jail. This direction was issued as a measure to decongest prisons.