The Supreme Court on Friday heard a plea seeking direction to the Kerala Government to refrain from issuing orders or notification to all classes of prisoners during the grim situation of COVID-19 prevalent in the State of Kerala, who were released on Parole/ Interim Bail during the COVID-19 period until the final disposal of Suo Motu W.P. (C) No. 1 of 2020 pending before the apex court.
A bench of Justice L Nageswara Rao and Justice BR Gavai tagged the plea along with the similarly placed petition.
The petition has been filed by an organization, We Are Saath through Advocate Deepak Prakash stating that prisoners approached the head of the organization stating that around 1300 are affected by the alleged illegal directions of Government Order dated 21.09.2021 issued by the Home Department of the State of Kerala, due to which they are being compelled to surrender before the Jail authorities on a single day, especially during this precarious and grim situation of COVID-19 prevalent in the State of Kerala.
It is submitted that "The State of Kerala is a breeding hotspot for the propagation of the Coronavirus and various strains thereof. It is one of the most drastically and adversely affected states due to the pandemic, and is constantly going into containment and lockdown due to the same."
"Given this backdrop, the order of the State Government calling back the released prisoners to surrender before the prison authorities is not only violative of their fundamental right to life and dignity, but also in stark derogation of the order dated 16.07.2021 passed by this Hon’ble Court," the plea added.
It has sought the protection of the lives of the prisoners, who would be forced to live in congested and deplorable conditions if asked to surrender during such time.
"In view the impending third wave of COVID-19, the Petitioner is compelled to approach this Hon’ble Court on humanitarian grounds for appropriate relief, as may deem fit by this Hon’ble Court," the petitioners added.
Case Title: WeAreSaath Vs. State of Kerala and Anr.
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