Gauhati High Court: The Division Bench of Sudhanshu Dhulia, CJ. and Achintya Malla Bujor Barua, J., took up a PIL in relation to an earlier order dated 11-05-2021 wherein a list of female jail inmates which gave details of such female jail inmates who were either under trials or have been convicted and lodged in different jails in Assam and are having small children with them was sought for. The list contained the names of those inmates.
The Court on enquiry found that these children were not juvenile in conflict with law, but they were in jail since they were less than six years of age and as per the Jail Manual, they were allowed to stay with their mothers who were in jail.
The Court keeping in mind the strange and difficult times of second wave of COVID-19 pandemic proposed that in the best interest of everyone this list be forwarded to the High Powered Committee which shall look into this aspect and examine whether any of the inmates who are in the list can be released under these special circumstances of COVID-19 pandemic (2nd wave) as the Higher Powered Committee of this Court is already seized with the matter and which has drawn certain principles on which jail inmates have to be released on temporary bail for three months or so.
[xxx v. In Re State of Assam, 2021 SCC OnLine Gau 1074, decided on 19-05-2021]
Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has put this report together
Counsel for the petitioner: Mr T J Mahanta
Counsel for the respondents: Mr P.P. Dutta, counsel for the Gauhati High Court, Mr D. Saikia, Senior Standing Counsel, Government of Assam assisted by Mr R. Dhar, Senior Government Advocate, Assam; Mr J. Payeng, Standing Counsel, Foreigners’ Tribunal and Ms S.s. Hazarika.