The apex court allowed the petitioner to withdraw the plea and granted him liberty to approach the jurisdictional high courts on the issue.
On March 16, the top court had taken suo motu (on its own) cognisance on overcrowding of prisons across the country and said it is difficult for jail inmates to maintain social distancing to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The fresh plea came up for hearing through video-conferencing before a bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde which observed that it would not issue specific directions as the situation was not similar in every state.
"Counsel for the petitioner seeks permission to withdraw this petition with liberty to move the jurisdictional high courts. Permission sought for is granted. The writ petition is dismissed as withdrawn," the bench, also comprising Justices A S Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy, said in its order.
Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for petitioner Jagdeep S Chhokar who is a former director in-charge of IIM Ahmedabad, said that the court may ask for status report from each states on the issue.
Bhushan claimed that despite the top court''s orders, those charged with minor offences were are not being released from jails.
He argued that states should be asked to furnish details of how many undertrial prisoners have been released and how many are suffering with comorbidities.
The bench observed that it would not pass uniform directions and this issue has to be considered by the jurisdictional high courts.
"We would like to have the view of the high court," the bench observed and allowed the petitioner to withdraw the plea.
The apex court, while hearing the suo motu case on April 13, had made it clear that it had not directed all the states and union territories to “compulsorily” release prisoners from jails and its earlier orders were meant to prevent over-crowding of prisons in view of coronavirus outbreak.
It had on March 23 directed all states and UTs to constitute high-level committees to consider releasing on parole or interim bail prisoners and undertrials for offences entailing up to seven-year jail term to decongest prisons in the wake of coronavirus pandemic. PTI ABA MNL SJK RKS MNL RKS RKS
Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI