Indian Supreme Court on Thursday made a ruling which would allows states to exercise power for the release of life convicts who served more than 14 years of imprisonment.
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday permitted the states to exercise their power to remit the sentences of life convicts if they have already served more than 14 years of imprisonment.
The SC had on July 14 last year restrained the states from releasing lifers after remitting their sentences while staying Tamil Nadu government’s decision to release Rajiv Gandhi assassination case convicts on the ground that they had served more than 22 years in prison.
This had closed the traditional window provided to the state governments to exercise remission powers to release life convicts after they served 14 years in jail.
The SC on Thursday lifted this stay but clarified that this relaxation would not apply to cases where the convict has been awarded life term in sexual offence cases.
It also said that the states cannot release those who have been awarded life sentences in cases investigated by the central probe agencies like CBI.
The court also said that the remission of sentences would not be allowed in those cases where the court has specified the period of life imprisonment, like 20 years or 25 years jail term.
The court also recorded that Rajiv Gandhi assassination case convicts would not be released till it pronounced its final order on the Centre’s plea challenging the TN government’s decision.
Via: Indian Express:
The modification of the stay order by the Constitution Bench led by Chief Justice H.L. Dattu however came with certain riders.
These include that State governments cannot release those prisoners on remission whose prison terms are specified to continue till the end of their lives.
It held that there is no discretion for States to release life convicts for whom it is specified they should suffer imprisonment for not less than 20 to 25 years.
States’ power to exercise remission, the court ordered, is restricted to those cases, which was not investigated by central agency such as the CBI.
The relief of remission would not extend to life convicts who were sentenced to life under central laws such as TADA and for gruesome crime of rape with murder.
The court said that the power of remission of the State governments is subject to constitutional powers of the President and the Governor under Articles 72 and 161, respectively.
The court clarified that this modification of its July 2014 stay will not apply to the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.