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Coronavirus Coronavirus Updates Crime & Justice Governance News

Here’s How Pakistan’s Prison Population Can Be Reduced

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Following the Supreme Court’s decision to refrain High Courts and all the provincial governments from passing any order regarding the release of prisoners during the pandemic, lawyer Asad Jamal has recommended some laws that can be used to reduce the population of prisoners in jails to counter the deadly coronavirus outbreak.

The lawyer took to Twitter and said that the provincial governments should play an Important role in this regard. He said, “Under sec. 401 CrPC r/w other provisions govt has wide powers to suspend or commute execution of sentence or remit the whole or any part of sentence of a prisoner with or without conditions. For this purpose, the govt may seek the concerned trial court’s opinion.”

Asad Jamal while talking about the good conduct of the prisoners said that according to Good Conduct of Prisoners’ Probational Release Act 1926, the executive authorities can release any offender on parole, on grounds of good conduct. “Under article 45 of the Constitution, the President of Pakistan has unlimited powers to pardon/remit, and to suspend or commute any sentence passed by any court,” the lawyer said.

He said that the Juvenile Justice System Act 2018 had given courts the powers to grant bails to juveniles in all kinds of offences, if after the arrest of juvenile, the conclusion of the trial was delayed for six months. “The courts have the special power to release under trial prisoners on bail. The women offenders can also be released on bail after half the time,” he added.

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The lawyer while highlighting a problem in the matter, said that all the jails across the country were overcrowded because neither the govt nor the courts had used the aforementioned powers often to grant benefit to the prisoners.

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