The Supreme Court of India on Monday said that detainees who are lodged in several detention centres in Assam for more than two years may be released on personal bond and surety.
The Supreme Court hearing several petitions stated having regard to the present circumstances (related to the novel coronavirus-COVID-19 outbreak) prevailing in the country and having regard to the fact that the SC had already permitted the release of prisoners and people under detention in general, and such detenues who have completed three years upon their declaration as foreigners, the court sees no reason why the period should not be reduced from three years to two years.
The SC added, “That is to say, the prisoners or detenues who have been under detention for two years shall be entitled to be released on the same terms and conditions as those laid down in the aforesaid order dated 10.05.2019, except that they shall not be required to furnish a bond in the sum of Rs.1,00,000/- (Rupees one lakh only). Instead they shall be required to furnish a bond in the sum of Rs.5,000/- (Rupees five thousand only) with two sureties of the 8 like sum of Indian citizens. Rest of the conditions in the said order dated 10.05.2019 reproduced above shall apply.”
The petition was heard by a bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde.
Among the petitioners, one was Raju Bala Das who is himself a detainee. He had spent more than two years and in his petition he stated that there was a risk of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infection inside the detention centres as they are “essentially housed” in over-crowded district jails.
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