Sunday September 26, 2021

Covid-19: IHC grants bail to 408 prisoners

March 25, 2020

ISLAMABAD: In the wake of coronavirus threat, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) Tuesday granted bail to 408 inmates imprisoned at the Adiala Jail over minor offences. Chief Justice Athar Minallah heard a case pertaining to 1,362 prisoners kept in the overcrowded jails.

Justice Athar Minallah approved the bail petitions of prisoners and constituted a committee to materialise the release of 408 prisoners on bail. The committee comprises DG Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF), deputy commissioner, IG police and other officials concerned.

The Islamabad district administration had earlier decided to release prisoners jailed over petty crimes amid fear of coronavirus outbreak in the overcrowded jails. The Islamabad administration had earlier decided to release 230 prisoners on bail in the first phase, jailed over petty offences like dishonored cheques and beggary etc.

The court inquired if the prisoners facing jail-without having been tried could be released. The chief justice remarked that the accused that could be a threat to the society shouldn't be released, adding that this was an emergency situation in the country.

He noted that the prisoners were being released even in the United States (US).

The bench remarked that the court was granting bail to those prisoners who were in jail without conviction.

“It is also inappropriate to keep the women prisoners in jail in this critical situation,” the chief justice observed. He directed the deputy commissioner to appoint an officer to oversee the matters pertaining to surety bonds of the detainees.

Deputy Commissioner Islamabad Hamza Shafqat assured the court that no prisoner at the Adiala Jail has been infected by the coronavirus.

The court order states that before releasing a prisoner, proper screening should be conducted by authorized officials nominated by the Ministry of National Health Services and Coordination, Government of Pakistan or the Director General (Health).