The government of Bihar has decided to release certain categories of detainees who have served half their prison terms to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the country’s independence, a state minister said on Saturday.
A screening committee of the Interior Ministry has been tasked with reviewing detainees’ files and identifying those eligible to grant the special waiver, Bihar’s Law Minister Pramod Kumar told PTI news agency.
The decision was taken on Friday during a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Nitish Kumar.
The proposal to grant special waivers to certain categories of prisoners was submitted to the state cabinet by the legal department.
“It is an important decision by the state government. Certain categories of prisoners, who have served half their prison terms, will be released as advised by the central government. of detainees and identify eligible individuals languishing in various prisons in Bihar,” the minister told PTI.
The panel has received some recommendations from several prison authorities and will investigate them, Pramod Kumar said.
“The commission will ensure that notorious criminals, repeat offenders and those who fall into prohibited categories are not eligible for the special waiver,” he said.
The Union Ministry of the Interior (MHA) has asked all state governments and Union territories to grant special pardon to certain categories of prisoners and release them on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the country’s independence celebrated as the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ . As advised by the center, the committee’s recommendations will be submitted to a competent authority for consideration and approval, Pramod Kumar said.
“According to the advice issued to all States and Union Territories, women and transgender convicts over the age of 50 with generally good behavior, especially those who have not been punished in the past three years and who have served half their sentences, may be three phases will be released – this Independence Day (August 15), Republic Day 2023 and Independence Day next year,” he said.
The same rules apply to male convicts, except that their age limit is set at 60 years and older, the minister said.
Among others who can be pardoned under the special arrangement are disabled convicts with 70 percent or more disabilities, in addition to terminally ill inmates and inmates who have served 66 percent of their total sentences, he clarified.
According to the MHA advisory, beneficiaries of the scheme also include “poor or needy inmates who have completed their sentences but are still in prison for failing to pay the imposed fine, and those who have committed an offense between the ages of 18 and 18.” 21 years old and with no other criminal involvement and have served 50 percent of their sentence,” the minister said.
Proof of age of convicts must be determined according to the admission ticket or birth certificate. In the absence of both, the age given in the court’s verdict can be maintained, the consultancy said.
However, the waiver of sentences does not apply to persons convicted of the death penalty or commuted to life imprisonment, convicted under laws related to terrorist or anti-national activities, dowry killing, printing false notes, rape, human trafficking, protection of children against sexual offenses (POCSO), economic offenses, drug trafficking, illegal arms trafficking, etc.
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