HC closes PIL seeking to prevent spread of Covid in TN prisons
TNN | May 21, 2020, 04:42 IST+1AA
Madurai: The Madras high court on Wednesday closed a public interest litigation (PIL) which sought to take steps to prevent the spread of Covid-19 at prisons in the state, citing that most of the relief, sought in the petition had already been addressed.
A division bench of justice P N Prakash and justice B Pugalendhi passed the order while hearing a petition filed by P Thangaraj, coordinator of Prisoners Reform Intervention Support Mission (PRISM), a charitable trust which was formed by few advocates to provide free legal services to jail inmates.
Thangaraj stated that following the outbreak of Covid-19, people have been asked to follow several precautionary steps including social distancing, however, the same would not be possible at the prisons due to overcrowding.
He stated that steps must be taken to reduce the arrest and remand of petty offenders and enlarge them on bail in their own bond. The parole of the prisoners can be extended and applications for parole and leave could be considered leniently.
The petitioner stated that since prevention is the most vital, prison cells should be sanitized periodically. Hand sanitisers, masks should be made available to the prison staff and the inmates who are newly brought should be screened.
Quarantine and isolation wards should be provided at the prisons where new admissions must be quarantined for 14 days and testing kits should be made available at the prison hospitals.