i. Krushna Prasad Sahoo v State of Orissa and Others
Case Number: WP(C) No. 6610 of 2006 and 3368 of 2014
Coram: Dr. S. Muralidhar CJ, Justice A.K. Mohapatra J.
While dealing with a 15-year-old writ petition and a 7-year-old-PIL after receiving a recent report about the death of 5 inmates in Odisha jails, the division bench headed by Chief Justice Dr. S.
Muralidhar has been regularly monitoring the various issues concerning the jails in Odisha.
In its order dated 9th March 2021, the court directed all District Magistrates to make surprise visits
to jails and submit reports about the condition of the prisons in their respective jurisdictions. It
also directed the Government of Odisha to examine the detailed directions issued by the Supreme
Court in its judgment in Re: Inhuman Conditions in 1382 Prisons, (2016) 3 SCC 700 as well as
the subsequent judgment in the same case reported in (2017) 10 SCC 658. Noting that in the
case of Premshankar Shukla v. Delhi Administration AIR 1980 SC 1535, the Supreme Court had
proscribed the practice of handcuffing of prisoners in jail or while bringing them from the jail
to the court, the Court directed the State Government to include the instructions it had issued
regarding discontinuance of this practice anywhere in the State. It also directed the Member
Secretary, Odisha State Legal Services Authority (OSLSA) to gather information on the number
of prisoners in various jails in Odisha, who could not be released, despite being granted bail, on
account of their inability to furnish bail bonds. On 27th April 2021, the court directed that no
prisoner should be denied vaccination merely for not having identity documents for registration
on COWIN portal. The order dated 12th May 2021 concerned the release of prisoners on Personal
Recognizance (PR) Bond for those who are unable to furnish bail bonds. As a result of the order,
the High-Power Committee passed a resolution for the release of prisoners on PR bond. Thereafter,
in its subsequent order dated 16th July 2021, the court placed reliance on Suo Motu v. State of
Madhya Pradesh in W.P. (C) No.9320 of 2021 and directed the State Government, inter alia, to