Puducherry

Supreme Court order bars premature release of six life convicts

A view of Central Prison at kalapet in Puducherry. Photo: C. Venkatachalapathy

A view of Central Prison at kalapet in Puducherry. Photo: C. Venkatachalapathy   | Photo Credit: C_VENKATACHALAPATHY

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Following a member of State Advisory Board pointed out the order of the Supreme Court, the meeting concluded without taking any decision on the pleas of prisoners.

An interim order of Supreme Court has come in the way of premature release of six life convicts lodged in Kalapet and Yanam Central prisons here.

The life convicts -L.Soloman, S.Loganathan, R.Venugopal, A. Velmurugan and M.Raja in Kalapet Central and another convict in Yanam prison had completed 14 years and petitioned to the government for their premature release. They also cited the precedent in Tamil Nadu in releasing the convicts prematurely.

In this regard, the State Advisory Board meeting was held recently under chairmanship of Chief Minister N.Rangasamy who is also Minister-in-charge of Jail Department to decide the fate of prisoners who sought premature release on various grounds.

Jegadesan Kannan, Deputy Inspector General of Police, who is also member secretary of the State Advisory Board and others including P.Velmurugan, Principal District Sessions Judge and Superintendent of Central Prison, Kalapet also participated in the meeting.

On July 7, the Supreme Court directed the States not to release life convicts prematurely. The apex court passed the interim order while hearing the Centre's petition challenging the Tamil Nadu government's decision to release the seven convicts prematurely in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. The Supreme Court also served notices on all the States and the Union Territories seeking their response on whether the Centre's nod was required before releasing life convicts who had been found guilty in cases probed by the CBI.

Following a member of State Advisory Board pointed out the order of the Supreme Court, the meeting concluded without taking any decision on the pleas of prisoners.

Jegadesan Kannan, Deputy Inspector General Police told The Hindu, “In view of Supreme Court order, the meeting could not take any decision on the petitions of six prisoners who sought pre-mature release. The meeting deferred its decision till final order of Supreme Court.”

In 1999 and 2003, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) issued guidelines to States and Union Territories for premature release of life convicts. Following guidelines issued by NHRC, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka frequently release prisoners.

G.Sugumaran, secretary of Federation for People’s Rights said, “The Tamil Nadu government has been releasing prisoners who completed 10 years in jail but the Union Territory is following a rigid policy in this regard.

The Puducherry government should relax its policy and convene State Advisory Committee once in year to decide on petitions of prisoner who are eligible for premature release.”

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2020 10:01:46 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/supreme-court-order-bars-premature-release-of-six-life-convicts/article6334199.ece

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