IHC orders release of prisoners with petty crimes

By: News Desk      Published: 12:44 PM, 20 Mar, 2020
IHC orders release of prisoners with petty crimes

Islamabad High Court has ordered the release of prisoners with petty crimes in the wake of the growing threat of the coronavirus.

In his remarks, Chief Justice Islamabad High Court said “The jails are already overcrowded. God forbid, what will happen if coronavirus spreads among the prisoners?”

The IHC CJ was hearing a case concerning the release of the prisoners from Adyala Jail on Friday during which he asked “What is the policy about the prisoners and what has the National Command Committee decided regarding this?”

On this the deputy commissioner said that during the meeting between the higher officials, it has been learnt that so far no prisoner tested positive for the virus. He further informed the court that the visitors had been barred from meeting the prisoners.

Justice Athar Minullah said there are several cases when the accused are unnecessarily arrested, and added “The court finds many instances where the accused should not sent to the jail in the first place.”

“The jails are already overcrowded. Imagine what will happen if the coronavirus spreads across them?,” Justice Minullah remarked.

On this development, the Vice Chairman Islamabad Bar Council said that each prisoner should be screened before being released.

Justice Minullah also said that even the new convicts should also be screened before being sent to the jails lest they be carrying the infection.

In addition, the CJ IHC said that those prisoners whose terms are almost complete should also be set free, and suggested “If there is a prisoner who tested positive could also be released by the provincial government.”