New Delhi [India], May 9 (ANI): Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind president Maulana Syed Arshad Madani on Saturday said that the Islamic organisation will approach the Supreme Court seeking grant of conditional bail to eligible jail inmates across the country amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
Madani said that the plea, seeking grant of interim bail to inmates with less that seven years prison sentence and other eligible prisoners, will be filed in the top court by advocate Ejaj Makbool on Monday.
"The Supreme Court had on March 16 taken suo moto cognizance of the issue and directed state governments to set up committees to consider granting bails to jail inmates on humanitarian grounds. However, several states have not taken any initiative on the issue," Madani said in a statement.
He also said that health departments have directed that social distancing is the only effective way to prevent the spread of coronavirus, but it is impossible to do so in prisons as they have more prisoners than their prescribed capacity.
"In view of this fact, the Supreme Court had taken cognizance of this issue and suggested the state governments to form High Power Committees on the matter. However, it is sad that many states have not taken any action on this," Madani said.
"In Mumbai's Arthur Road Jail, the families of the inmates and officials are worried after many of them tested positive for coronavirus. According to information, around 103 inmates and officials who tested positive for COVID-19 are being treated at different hospitals in the city," he added.
Madani said that the Arthur Road Jail is capable of handling around 800 inmates, but around 2,600 prisoners are currently lodged in the prison.
He also said that the High Power Committee in Maharashtra had recommended the release of 11,000 inmates but so far the process of releasing only 576 inmates on interim bail has been initiated in the state. (ANI)