KARACHI                 -               Chief Justice Sindh High Court Justice Ahmed Ali M. Shaikh on Thursday gave orders to release 829 prisoners in the province as fears grow that the coronavirus may spread in prison.

Inmates who were serving time over minor offenses were allowed to be set free, according to the orders.

According to the notification issued, cases of the people released are underway.

Separately, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah asked the home department to work out details of the total number of inmates so that they could be given relief keeping in view the severity of their crime, health and financial conditions.

He took this decision on Thursday while presiding over a meeting of the Home Department. The chief minister said that the list available with him showed that there were 16,000 prisoners in jails across the province. “I want you to prepare lists of all the prisoners and divide them in different categories,” he said and added there should be a separate category of under trial and convicted prisoners.

In the under-trail prisoners’ list there should be a category of prisoners facing heinous criminal and minor charges. A separate list of elderly and sick prisoners may also be made so that their cases could be considered accordingly.

He also asked the home department to furnish a separate list of the prisoners who have completed their punishments or jail term but have no money to pay the fine/penalty imposed on them.

Another list of the prisoners who have been granted bail but have no money or property to file surety amount must also be prepared, he said. “The provincial government would pay their fine and make arrangement for their surety,” said the Chief Minister.

He has also asked the home department to prepare separate lists of the women prisoners, children, and foreigners so that they may also be given some relief keeping in view the severity of their crime.

Sindh CM hints at releasing petty criminals

Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has assigned the Sindh Home department to work out details of the total prisoners in Sindh jails so that they could be given relief keeping in view the nature of their crime, health and financial conditions.

He took this decision on Thursday while presiding a meeting of Home department here at CM House, said a spokesperson to the CM.

The meeting was attended by Chief Secretary Mumtaz Ali Shah, Adl Chief Secretary Home Usman Chachar, and IG Prison Nusrat Mangan.

The Chief Minister said, according to the available list there were 16,000 prisoners in all the jails of the province. “I want you to prepare lists of all of the prisoners and divide them in different categories,” he said and added there should be category of under trial and convicted prisoners. In the under-trail prisoners’ list there should be a category of prisoners facing heinous and minor crimes charges.

A separate list of elderly and sick prisoners may also be made so that their cases could be considered accordingly, Sindh CM said.

He also asked the home department to furnish a separate list of the prisoners who have completed their punishments or jail term but have no money to pay the fine/penalty imposed on them.

The list of the prisoners who have been granted bail but have no money or property to file surety amount. “The provincial government would pay their fine and make arrangement for their surety,” he said.

He has also asked the home department to prepare separate lists of the women prisoners, children and foreigners so that they may also be given some relief keeping in view the severity of their crime.

Syed Murad Ali Shah said, “our jails were mostly crowded; therefore he was trying to release those prisoners who could be given relief within the ambit of the law.”