LAHORE                  -             The Lahore High Court (LHC), on Thursday, issued guidelines for release of under-trial prisoners (UTPs) and convicts on bail to prevent spread of coronavirus.

In a letter, addressed to all district and sessions judges, the Directorate of District Judiciary, Director General asked the jail superintendents concerned to file fresh or second bail applications of prisoners of certain categories.

The categories include under-trial prisoners (UTPs) of the offences, for which they might be awarded less than seven-year imprisonment, convicts with imprisonment of less than seven years, UTPs facing charges not falling within prohibited clauses, UTPs facing 10 years or above jail term, juvenile convicts, under-trial women and convicted women.

The jail superintendents had been asked to move applications on behalf of the prisoners undergoing sentence of less than seven years to the district and sessions judges (D&SJs) concerned, who would fix the same before the trial courts or judicial magistrates for appropriate orders.

However, the applications of prisoners undergoing sentences of more than seven years should be sent to the high court by the superintendents, it added. The trial courts had been directed to decide such applications at the earliest.

The letter stated that the extraordinary concession would not be applicable to the under-trial and convicted prisoners under any provision of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997.

The jail administrations had also been asked to provide names and addresses of prisoners to be released to the district police officer concerned, who would ensure that such persons remain in isolation at their homes for two weeks.