Rajeev Sinha, New Delhi
Published by: Gaurav Pandey
Updated Sat, 19 Jun 2021 07:22 PM IST
Social activist Medha Patkar has filed a PIL in the Supreme Court seeking a uniform mechanism for the release of prisoners above 70 years of age to decongest prisons across the country in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. .
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The petition, filed through advocates SB Talekar and Vipin Nair, said, “The most vulnerable are the prisoners above 70 years of age who are most likely to get infected.” High-powered committees in some states have placed more emphasis on law and order than health and have ignored the need for the release of elderly prisoners.
Patkar has claimed in the petition that except the states of Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Bihar, Haryana and Maharashtra, no state has considered the release of elderly prisoners in the wake of Kovid-19.
The petition states that as per the National Prison Information Portal, the total number of prisoners above 70 years of age is 5163 in all jails except Maharashtra, Manipur and Lakshadweep as on May 16, 2021.
It has been said in the petition that out of the total deaths due to Kovid-19 in India, 88 percent deaths have occurred in the age group of 45 years and above. Patkar has said that according to the World Health Organization (WHO), Kovid-19 has led to the death of most elderly people.
Medha Patkar has sought a direction to the Supreme Court to direct the states to take immediate steps to protect the interests of prisoners above 70 years of age on interim bail or parole or to release them in less crowded jails. be shifted and adequate medical facilities should be provided.
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