Majority of prisoners on 'Covid parole' return to Kerala jails


Kannur Central Prison | Mathrubhumi file photo

Kannur: As many as 170 convicts out of 181 lodged at the Kannur Central Jail, who were granted parole or temporary bail following spread of Covid-19, have returned to jail by Thursday night. The Supreme Court had ordered that the parole cannot be extended further.

In 2021, taking into account the prevalent situation in Kerala regarding COVID-19, the Kerala government had considered granting bail to even those who were convicted for a period of more than 10 years.

Three convicts have informed the authorities that they may take some more time. Most of the convicts received parole for up to 14 months in two parole terms.

As many as 131 prisoners out of 136 in Cheemeni Open Jail who got parole have also returned. With this, the chapati and biryani production units, studio, two-wheeler workshop and cafeteria which were closed down due to lack of manpower could restart.

The jail returnees also include six convicts of the TP Chandrasekharan murder case who had approached the SC when the government asked them to return.

The Supreme Court on April 29 had directed prisoners to report back to jails in Kerala within two weeks. A bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and P S Narasimha said near normalcy has returned in the country.

“Near normalcy has returned in the country and daily activities remain unabated. The benefit that was granted to the prisoners who continue on parole, due to a possibility of contracting COVID-19, shall continue for a period of two weeks from today. The petitioners are directed to report back to prisons within the same period,” the bench said.


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