KATHMANDU, April 15: The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought explanation of the government authorities concerned over releasing detainees under the special arrangement to fight against coronavirus (COVID-19) in Nepal.
A single bench of justice Dambar Bahadur Shahi issued show cause notice in response to a writ petition filed by seven detainees including Gopal Siwakoti Chintan demanding their release under government special arrangement to fight against coronavirus. Chintan himself is waiting court verdict as a detainee on a forgery case.
The detainees have claimed that they could not maintain social distancing as well as other health care measures in the prisons as required by the special order of the government and the recommendations of World Health Organization (WHO). They sought apex court order to the government authorities — the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Office of the Attorney General—to release them.
Stating that their concerns were not addressed when they filed petitions in the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, the Office of the Attorney General and the Ministry of Home Affairs, they lodged the petition in the apex court, seeking its intervention on this matter. They also claimed that the central jail has been detaining 3,137 detainees even as it has capacity to keep just 1800 detainees.
The petitioners have sought the apex court order to grant facilities to the detainees as per Prison Rules, 1964 and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 by obtaining details on each day, alleging that prison authorities had fulfilled their duties properly.
Claiming that some of the detainees have been serving jail sentence just because they could not pay small amount of fine even after serving jail sentence, the petitioners have also sought the apex court order to release all such detainees serving jail terms for their involvement in petty crimes.