Medha Patkar to SC: Uniform policy for release of prisoners above 70 years

Social activist Medha Patkar has moved Supreme Court seeking to formulate a uniform mechanism to release prisoners aged 70 years with a view to decongest prisons across India.

The petition was based on report by World Health Organisation (WHO) which stated that COVID-19 causes higher mortality among older persons, specifically with medical conditions.

The High Powered Committees was established by different States and according to order of Supreme Court prisoners were release on parole due to COVID-19 but they have not taken into account the categorization prisoners on the basis of their vulnerability to the infection.

Chief Justice of India, ordered these committees constituted by State governments and Union Territories on May 8, 2021 to consider parole of prisoners by accepting the guidelines which was followed last year.

It was mentioned in the petition that states such as Maharashtra, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh had adopted measures according to SC order to release old age prisoners.

Further it was argued that the chances of law and order situation because of release of elderly prisoners are less, due to the tendency to involve in repeat offences is also less at such an age.

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