Nod to prisoner amnesty scheme
New Delhi: The Union cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday approved guidelines for granting special remission to certain categories of prisoners, including women, transgenders and the differently abled, as part of commemorating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
According to the decision, women and transgender convicts who are at least 55 years old and have completed half their sentences will be granted the remission and set free.
Male convicts who have completed half their term will be eligible too but have to be at least 60.
Convicts with at least 70 per cent disability will also be granted remission if they have completed half their terms. Terminally ill convicts and prisoners who have completed two-thirds of their sentence period will be eligible too.
Union law and justice minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters after the cabinet meeting that the decision was taken to commemorate Mahatma Gandhi's 150th birth anniversary.
The prisoners, he said, would be released in three phases: on October 2 (Gandhi's 149th birth anniversary); April 10, 2019 (the anniversary of the Champaran Satyagrah) and October 2, 2019.
The special remission is, however, conditional. It will not be granted to prisoners who have been convicted of an offence for which the sentence is death or where a death sentence has been commuted to life imprisonment.
Those convicted in cases involving dowry death, rape, human trafficking, sexual assault on children, terror, the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, circulation of fake currency, money laundering, foreign exchange violation, corruption and narcotics will also not be eligible for the remission.
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The Telegraph, 19 July, 2018, https://www.telegraphindia.com/india/nod-to-prisoner-amnesty-scheme-245999?ref=india-new-stry