Court asks Delhi Police to explain parole plea delays

NEW DELHI - The Delhi High Court Thursday sought the response of the Delhi Police on a letter written by 28 inmates of Tihar jail complaining over the delay in hearing parole pleas.

“This is not the law. You (police) must segregate the hard core criminals and other convicts involved in petty crimes, the bench comprising of Chief Justice Ajit Prakash Shah and Justice Manmohan said.

The court asked the Delhi Police to file a detailed reply by Sep 23, and also discuss the issue with the lieutenant-governor who is authorised to issue the parole orders.

“Prisoners in Delhi are away from their family for years — they are cut off from society and all of us are sad. Our morale is low,” says the letter by the Tihar inmates, written in Hindi and dated July 13.

“In other northern states, 90 percent prisoners get parole, whereas here only 5 to 10 percent are let off on parole — that too for very little time,” the letter added.

The letter has triggered a follow-up report from Delhi Legal Services Authority (DLSA), who said it reflects a practical state of affairs of prisoners in the capital.

As per the laws, a prisoner gets parole for various reasons — to visit a dying or sick family member, build a house, or repair a badly damaged home, among others.

The official process on an application for parole starts with its verification by the local police and has to be finally cleared by the lieutenant-governor.

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