Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], July 30 (ANI): The Odisha Government has released as many as 16,789 prisoners from various jails across the state during the period of four months, from March 20 to July 28 in view of the present scenario of COVID-19 pandemic.
The decision has been taken by following the Supreme Court directive to all the States and Union Territories to decongest the jails to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus.
As per the statement released by Directorate of Prisons and Correctional Services, Odisha "Total 16,639 Undertrial Prisoners (UTPs) and 150 Convicts have been released between March 20 and July 28 from Five Circles including Berhampur, Sambalpur, Cuttack, Baripada and Mirzapur, as part of decongestion measures of jails following the recommendation of High-powered Committee on the direction of Apex Court"
"As directed by the high-powered committee, the Undertrial Review Committee of 30 districts having District Judges, District Magistrates, Superintendents of Police, Secretary DLSA and Jail Superintendents as members had taken a conscious decision on merit for ensuring decongestion of Jails," the statement added.
The Supreme Court has issued directives to the States and UTs on March 23 to consider the release of Undertrials and prisoners charged or convicted for crimes where the maximum punishment is less than seven years to decongest jails amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Following the directives of Apex Court, Odisha Government had formed a High-powered committee on March 26 to identify the prisoners who can be released on parole or temporary bail-in wake of COVID-19. (ANI)