Responding to a Public Interest Litigation, Jabalpur principal bench of Madhya Pradesh high court has served a notice to the state government over the issue of parole for rapists and hardened criminals as part of the plan to decongest jails amid covid19 pandemic.
The petitioner has alleged that the high-powered committee did not classify inmates before their release was ordered.
Since last year, inmates are being released from various MP jails in order to decongest crowded jails amid the covid19 pandemic in accordance with the orders from the Supreme Court of India and the High Court.
A petitioner, a Jabalpur-based civil rights organization, Nagrik Upbhokta Manch, in the PIL has contested that the crime graph will head up sharply in criminals accused of offenses against women and minor kids are released on parole.
The MP jails are also overcrowded with beyond the capacity inmates. As of May 7 this year, as against an installed capacity of 28,675 the MP jails had 45,582 prisoners. On the directives of the high court, a high-powered committee was formed to oversee the process of parole offered to the inmates so as to decongest jails.
The petitioner had contested that the committee hadn’t classified the prisoners in different categories which could lead to a surge in the crime graph.
The HC after serving a notice to the MP government has posted the matter for hearing on July 12.
In Indore, several convicts in murder, gang war, and smuggling cases were released on 90 days parole while some others accused of rape and gang rape had also applied for parole.
In MP, there are around 12,000 prisoners serving life imprisonment and several of them have applied for parole. As per norms, the collector of the district and DG Jails consider these requests.
Around a fortnight ago, some reports had suggested that around 400 rapists including 100 accused of raping minor girls were about to be released on parole in the pandemic.
Opposition Congress party too had slammed the Shivraj government for the proposed move. As per the latest order, the parole of the inmates was increased by 30 days in addition to the 360 days offered to them already.
(Inputs Pratik Mohan Awasthi)