New Delhi, Jan 5 (SocialNews.XYZ) The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Director General of Prisons, Uttar Pradesh, to file an affidavit in his personal capacity in connection with steps taken to grant benefits of remission to convicts.
A bench, headed by Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and comprising Justice P.S. Narasimha, sought information on convicts eligible for premature release in each district of the state, details of pending remission cases, and also the time period for taking up of these cases.
It sought a personal affidavit from the Director General of Prisons giving the information within a period of three weeks.
Asking how many cases have been considered for premature release since the judgment of this case, the bench also appointed lawyer Rishi Malhotra as an amicus curiae to assist it.
The bench orally remarked that it would ask the state legal services to visit all prisons and find out about all such inmates etc. "We will streamline it," it said.
The apex court issued notice to the Uttar Pradesh State Legal Services Authority.
The apex court, in a judgment in September last year, had issued several directions having an impact on remission of nearly 500 convicts undergoing life imprisonment in Uttar Pradesh.
The UP government on August 1, 2018, issued a remission policy for prisoners undergoing life imprisonment. According to the government, for a lifer to be considered for premature release, the prisoner should undergo 16 years of actual sentence and 4 years of remission - 20 years of total sentence. The policy was amended subsequently in July 2021, 16 years actual sentence and 4 years remission was not changed, but a rider was added that to be eligible the convict must be above 60 years.
The top court had said that all cases for premature release of convicts undergoing imprisonment for life should be considered in terms of the policy dated August 1, 2018. It added that the restriction that a life convict is not eligible for premature release until attaining the age of 60 years, which was introduced by the policy of July 28, 2021, stands deleted by the amendment dated May 27, 2022. Hence, no case for premature release shall be rejected on that ground, it said.
It had also said that there was no requirement for the convict to submit an application for premature release, and jail authorities must consider their cases automatically.
The top court had said that district legal services authorities in Uttar Pradesh shall take necessary steps in coordination with the jail authorities to ensure that all eligible cases of prisoners who would be entitled to premature release in terms of the applicable policies, as noticed above, would be duly considered and no prisoner, who is otherwise eligible for being considered, shall be excluded from consideration.