Coronavirus Pandemic

It's safer in jail: 21 prisoners in Uttar Pradesh don't want parole amid Covid-19 pandemic

Filed on May 30, 2021


The Supreme Court had earlier passed directions for decongestion of prisons and ordered release of prisoners who were granted bail or parole.

Most people would do anything to get out of jail. But that’s not the case with 21 inmates in nine prisons of Uttar Pradesh, who have written to authorities saying they don’t want parole as staying incarcerated is “safer and healthier” for them during the Covid pandemic. Parole is a temporary suspension of the sentence.

The inmates who have made such a request are lodged in nine jails of the state, including in Ghaziabad, Gautam Buddh Nagar, Meerut, Maharajganj, Gorakhpur and Lucknow, Director General of Jail Administration Anand Kumar told PTI on Sunday.

The reason is that if they get parole of 90 days, then this will get added to the punishment term, he said.

“The other overriding reason which they give is that if they go out, they will not get food and other health care facilities, which they get in the jails.

“The inmates say health check-up is done regularly in the jails. They get food on time, they are safe and healthy in the jails. The inmates say that once they go out of the jail, they will have to struggle to make a livelihood,” Kumar said.

There are four such requests from Lucknow jail, three from Ghaziabad and two from Maharajganj jail.

Asked what is the jail administration’s response to the request of the inmates, Kumar said, “Since they have given it in writing, obviously we have to accept their stand and honour it.”

Taking note of an “unprecedented surge” in Covid-19 cases in the country, the Supreme Court on May 8 passed directions for decongestion of prisons and ordered forthwith release of all those prisoners who were granted bail or parole last year in view of the pandemic.

On March 16, 2020, the top court had taken suo motu cognizance of overcrowding of prisons across the country and had said it is difficult for jail inmates to maintain social distancing to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

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