Delhi Govt Seeks Directions From High Court On Cost Of Police Escorting Prisoners

Delhi HC

The Delhi government recently sought guidance of the Delhi high court over who is responsible for paying for the expense of police escort for prisoners on custodial parole.

The government moved the Delhi High Court after a case in which two defendants were given custody parole by a magistrate court.

The court had ruled that the applicants shall bear the cost of travel, food and other expenses of the security guards.

The prison administration asked the court to order the inmates to pay nearly Rs 10 lakh for the wages of the police escort employees, and the court granted their request.

However, the convicts appealed the ruling to the sessions court, which reversed its decision. As a result, the state government petitioned the high court for remedy.

A single bench of Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar issued a notice invalidating the Sessions Court’s order from October 2021.

“The present petition involves a significant issue as to whether a convict/accused who availed of custody parole for several weeks, has to bear the costs of remuneration of escorting guards during the period of the said custody parole or such remuneration of the escorting guards has to be borne by the state exchequer,” said additional public prosecutor Amit Sahni, appearing for the state.

He stated that there have been cases where custody parole has been granted for several weeks or months and the state exchequer has been “unnecessarily burdened” with paying the salaries of escort staff deployed for such periods with prisoners.

The prosecutor stated that district courts should be directed not to grant custody parole for more than six hours or to grant such relief only after the applicant deposits the cost towards the salary of the escort party.

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