//Curbs on releasing life convicts

Curbs on releasing life convicts

Kochi: A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Tuesday restrained the committee appointed by the Government for the earlier release of prisoners from considering the cases in which the life convicts had not completed 14 years of imprisonment until further orders from the court.

The Bench comprising Justice J. B. Koshy and Justice K. Padmanabhan Nair, however, said that the order would not be applicable to very special cases.

The direction was issued when K.B. Sureshkumar, amicus curiae in the case relating to the indiscriminate granting of parole to prisoners, pointed out that despite the court directives, the committee was going ahead with granting of remission to life convicts who had not completed 14 years of imprisonment.

The Bench was of the view that the committee could not consider remission of sentence to life convicts who had not completed 14 years of imprisonment. The Supreme Court had made it clear in the Maru Ram case. In fact, the Government could grant remission in exceptional cases.

But that should be in very rare cases.

The grant of remission to life convicts was against the provision of the Constitution, Indian Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code.

Meanwhile, in an affidavit, the Principal Secretary (Home and Vigilance) K.K. Vijayakumar said that the Government had been granting parole under the provisions of the Kerala Prison Rules. Paroles were granted taking into consideration all aspects put forward by the prisoner. The Kerala Prison Rules would be published soon.