Release prisoners unable to furnish bond despite bail: Orissa HC

by Kalahandi Info
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45 prisoners are still incarcerated despite courts granting them bail

CUTTACK: The Orissa High Court on Thursday directed the member secretary of Odisha State Legal Services Authority (OSLSA) to coordinate with district legal services authorities (DLSAs) concerned to ensure the 45 prisoners in eight jails who have been granted bail but are unable to furnish bail bonds, are released by April 10.

The court was hearing a PIL on the problem of overcrowding and other issues in jails across the state. Amicus Curiae Gautam Misra submitted as many as 45 prisoners in eight sub-jails in Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Balasore, Bargarh, Jharsuguda, Sambalpur, Keonjhar and Nabarangpur were still incarcerated despite courts granting them bail. As per the court’s order, the prisoners were unable to exit from their respective jails because of their inability to furnish the bail bonds.

The division bench of Chief Justice S Muralidhar and Justice Gourishankar Satapathy directed the secretaries of DLSAs in the eight districts to file appropriate application before their respective criminal courts to facilitate the early release of such prisoners by modification of the bail orders. These steps should be positively completed by April 10.  

While fixing June 29 as the date for next hearing on the matter, the bench directed submission of compliance report by OSLSA member secretary by then. The court was also informed by DG of Prisons Manoj Kumar Chhabra virtually that land to the extent of 20 acre has been identified for the new Jajpur sub-jail. District magistrate and collector, Jajpur has been requested to alienate the land in favour of Home (Jails) department and hand over advance possession so that construction of the new jail building commences. Taking note of it, the bench directed Collector, Jajpur to hand over advance possession of the land by May 1.

The bench also took note of the report which indicated there was reduction of overcrowding percentage in most sub-jails except in the sub-jail at Malkangiri  where occupancy has gone up from 37 per cent to 45 per cent.DG of Prisons explained that construction for expansion of capacity of the Malkangiri sub-jail is expected to be completed by end of April this year. “The court expects overcrowding at Malkangiri sub-jail should reduce considerably by the next date”, the bench said.


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