A special bench of Delhi HC consisting, Chief Justice D N Patel and Justices Siddharth Mridul and Talwant Singh, taking note of the prevalent situation gave the order that all its prevailing interim orders are extended till October 31st. This decision has been taken in view of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier around 2,900 under-trials had been released on bail because of their risk of contracting COVID inside jails or the risk of them spreading the disease inside jails. The last time the court had extended all its interim orders till July 15. The bench said, “The idea is to ensure that the released prisoners do not return to prison as asymptomatic patients of COVID19, especially when the prisons are overcrowded”.
WHAT ARE INTERIM ORDERS?
Interim orders are temporary orders while the Court makes its decision. They are usually made when there is an urgent issue that needs action while the court process is going on.
Key points of the order…
- The bench stated that “Needless to clarify that in case the aforesaid extension of interim order causes any hardship of an extreme nature to a party, they would be at liberty to seek appropriate relief, as may be advised.”
- This order of extension shall be applicable to criminal matters of bail/ interim bail/ parole as well.
- The high court also made it clear that it will slowly start physical hearing with the consent of all.
- The court further said that the aim of the decision is to ensure that the return of the released prisoners does not translate into a reason for the virus being spread into the prisons.
- In respect of anticipatory bail, arrest & bail, it is iterated that an accused should not be arrested unless the same is inevitable. However, in respect of cases relating to recovery of material objects used in the commission of offences & such cases, the State is at liberty to take appropriate decisions.
- Presently the hearings on high courts and districts are being done through video conferencing.
- It directed that the interim bail or parole granted to undertrials or convicts by the high court or trial courts, either before or after March 16, are being extended till October 31 or further orders except where the Supreme Court may have passed any contrary orders in any such matter during the period.
- While the limited functioning of the courts continued, the interim orders were given three extensions. The latest version is set to expire on 31st august.
Report By- RIDDHIMA BHADAURIA