ISLAMABAD-The Islamabad High Court (IHC) will Tuesday consider release of convicts (excluding terrorism related cases) who have served out 2/3rd of their substantive sentence at Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail in view of Coronavirus outbreak.

A single bench of IHC comprising Chief Justice of IHC Justice AtharMinallah will conduct hearing of the case while he had already ordered release of under-trial prisoners (UTPs) who are accused of crimes with less than 10 years of imprisonment and incarcerated at Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail.

In this connection, the IHC additional registrar (judicial) submitted a report saying that Coronavirus is a pandemic and contagious disease which has affected millions of people around the globe. The report said, “There are also apprehensions of its outbreak in Pakistan, therefore, all preventive and precautionary measures are required to be taken to avoid any mishap.”

It also said, “In the wake of the above situation, this court had already been pleased to take notice of the expected drastic situation and ordered release of those under-trial prisoners on bail who were either involved in petty crimes or involved in those cases, the punishment of which do not fall within the prohibition contained in section 497 Cr.P.C.”

The report mentioned that Superintendent of Adiala jail forwarded a list whereby 408 under-trial prisoners have requested for grant of bail in cases falling under the ambit of prohibitory clauses contained in Section 497 Cr.P.C. It added, “The same, if approved, will be registered as bail applications.”

It mentioned, “In view of peculiar situation, following more steps are respectfully proposed to be taken to minimise the number of prisoners in the Central Prison Rawalpindi and reduce the chances of exposure of the above said epidemic.”

According to the report, “All those convicts (excluding those involved in anti-state activities or terrorism cases) who have served out 2/3rd of their substantive sentences may be considered to be released from prison, on parole, as provided in “The good conduct Prisoners of Probational Release Act 1926.”

It further said the cases of convicts who are over 50 years of age and infirm by health or confined simply for non-payment of fine/compensation, juvenile offenders and female accused/convicts may be considered for appropriate orders.