In view of the ongoing Covid pandemic, Gauhati High Court has directed a high-powered committee to assess based on special circumstances if women inmates living with their children could be released.
As per a report by PTI, "Hearing a suo motu public interest litigation, Chief Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia and Justice Achintya Malla Bujor Barua on Wednesday instructed the Assam government and the High Court Registrar (Judicial) to place the list before the committee for deciding on the release of the prisoners".
The court also noted as reported by the news agency that in an earlier order of May 11, a list of women jail inmates was submitted.
The order had details like different age groups of children, those inmates having small children with them who are either undertrials or have been convicted.
"On enquiry, we have found that these children are not juvenile in conflict with the law, but they are in jail since they are less than six years of age and as per the Jail Manual, they are allowed to stay with their mothers who are in jail," the order said.
The court stated that a "High-Powered Committee of the Gauhati High Court is already in place and has drawn certain principles on which jail inmates have to be released on temporary bail for three months or so due to the pandemic.
"…it would be in the best interest of everyone that this list be forwarded to the said 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," the order added.
The next hearing in this connection will take place on May 28.