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COVID-19 Pandemic Citied To Deny Parole to Sikh Political Prisoner

April 13, 2020 | By

Chandigarh: On the one hand the Supreme Court of India (SCI) is holding suo-motu hearing for reducing number of inmates in Indian jails directing governments to set-up norms for release of prisoners or undertrials on parole or interim bail in wake of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, but on the other hand the Punjab administration has citied same reason (COVID-19 breakout) to deny regular parole to a Sikh political prisoners.

Lockdown and COVID-19 Pandemic Cited to Deny Parole:

Documents accessed by the Sikh Siyasat News (SSN) shows that the Ferozepur Deputy Commissioner citied COVID-19 pandemic to recommend against release of Sikh political prisoner Balbir Singh @ Bira on regular parole.

Balbir Singh Bira [File Photo]

Deputy commissioner said that there is lockdown in the state due to coronavirus breakout, and police and security agencies are busy in ensuring lockdown.

He said that the police won’t be able to keep an eye on Balbir Singh as it was busy in ensuring lockdown. He ‘recommended’ against release of Balbir Singh on parole.

Punjab Administration’s Argument is Self-Defeating:

Talking to the Sikh Siyasat News (SSN) Balbir Singh’s counsel Advocate Jaspal Singh Manjhpur said that Punjab administration’s argument is self-defeating.

Advocate Jaspal Singh Manjhpur addressing media persons outside Ludhiana court complex [File PHOTO] | Image used for representational purpose only

“DC Ferozepur himself says that there is lockdown in Punjab. There is nearly no public movement of even individuals, leave apart movement of vehicles or transport”, pointed Advocate Manjhpur while adding that “when police is so alert and there is strict lockdown, how it would a problem if Balbir Singh is released on parole and is allowed to spend time at his house?”.

Application Moved in High Court:

Advocate Jaspal Singh Manjhpur said that an application is filed in the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking parole for Balbir Singh.

The application points out that Balbir Singh has already secured parole for six times and last parole was granted by the Punjab and Haryana High Court under Civil Writ Petition (CWP) 3762/2019, said he.

It further points that the parents of Balbir Singh have already expired and his wife along with a 6 years old daughter are alone at their house in village Maulviwala, he added.

He said that the application seeks parole for Balbir Singh.

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