Maharashtra: Over 800 Criminals Violate Emergency Parole; Jail Department Begins Filling Cases

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Pune, 13th July 2022: The Maharashtra Prison Department has begun registering cases against nearly 800 inmates who were granted emergency parole during the Covid-19 outbreak but failed to return to custody after the state government withdrew their parole in May of this year.

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860 of the 4,240 criminals who were given emergency parole in 2020–21 from 46 jails had not shown up by Tuesday, essentially jumping parole.


113 of these 860 convicts have had offences under Indian Penal Code (IPC) section 224, which deals with resistance or obstruction by a person to his legal capture, lodged against them over the past few days by prison officials across the state. According to officials, more cases of this kind would be filed in the upcoming days.


The state government established a committee in April 2020, at the start of the pandemic, in response to a Supreme Court decision on the question of Covid-19’s potential spread inside prisons, to decide the requirements for the release of detainees on temporary bail and emergency parole. The committee’s decisions occasionally resulted in the temporary release of eligible convicts.


The Prison Department stopped its decongestion efforts when the first wave of Covid-19 declined, and the inmate population began to rise once more. The department once more started a decongestion operation and released prisoners based on the same standard during the second wave in 2021.


The government instructed the Prison Department to return the prisoners who had been granted parole in a resolution that was issued on May 4 of this year. Jail officials subsequently sent these offenders notifications to return to jails. The concerned police stations were also told to spread the word about this.


According to the government’s decision from May 4, anyone who doesn’t show up for work should be arrested under IPC section 224. The relevant jail authorities are documenting these cases.