As the coronavirus tally in the country reached 3.5 lakh on Wednesday, the Supreme Court said on Tuesday that the COVID-19 situation is worsening each passing day and not improving.

The observation by the top court came on Tuesday while extending the parole of a Punjab based businessman accused in a drug racket case. The court was hearing a criminal case in which the accused Jagjit Singh Chahal had sought extension of his parole ending next month.

A bench of Justices RF Nariman, Navin Sinha and BR Gavai said that in a situation like this there is no point in overcrowding the prisons when some of the accused are either out on bail or are on parole.

“You see…the COVID-19 situation is not getting any better with each passing day. It is only getting worse in the country,” the bench told the Punjab government’s counsel who opposed the plea.

The bench perused the affidavit of Punjab government which said that the bail was granted to him in the case on February 19 and his appeal is coming for hearing on July 16.

“The parole is to continue until the appeal is heard and finally decided provided that the petitioner cooperates and does not ask for any adjournment on any ground when the appeal comes up for hearing. The special leave petition is disposed of. Pending applications stand disposed of,” the bench said in its order.

Chahal, a prominent businessman, is also accused in a money laundering case besides being booked for running a drug racket in the state. The top court had last month issued notice to Punjab government on the plea for its response.