The High-Powered Committee on 26th September held its 9th meeting through video conferencing where they decided to extend the surrendering date by 6 weeks. The High-Powered Committee was established at State level under the directions of Supreme Court of India.
The total number of 3,283 convicts and 1,599 accused under trial were released on parole/interim bail from different jails of Haryana from 24.03.2020 till date to avoid overcrowding in jails during outbreak of COVID-19. A number of steps are taken for the safety of inmates such as setting up of special jails for taking in all new prisoners or exclusive jail for Covid-19 patients who were jail inmates etc.
The HPC in its 9th meeting decided to bring back 2,399 convicts to their respective jails who were convicted of serious offences, by taking all precautionary measures and safeguards to protect them and others in jails from COVID-19 infection. As the release of convicts by HPC was a temporary measure to reduce the risk of infection within the jails and secure the lives of prisoners and staff working. The HPC has directed the jail authorities to ask the convicts to surrender from 17.11.2020 as the HPC extended the special parole by six weeks. The HPC directed that the surrender shall be done in 9 stages in order to prevent any kind of risk of infection amongst the jail inmates.
All the convicts will be informed regarding their date of surrender and date of surrender will be set according to the term of imprisonment. Convicts with longer term will surrender first. In relation to this, the jail authorities as well as the health authorities have been directed to coordinate with each other and take all important steps for testing of the convicts before they return back to particular jails.