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Over 900 prisoners freed as part of Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary

More than 900 prisoners were released from prisons across India under an amnesty scheme announced as part of the year-long celebrations to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi beginning October 2, the Home Ministry said on Thursday.

Women convicts aged 55 and above and male convicts of 60 years or more, who have served half of their sentence, and a few other categories of prisoners were eligible for the amnesty scheme announced by the Union Cabinet on July 18.

In the week-long first phase of special remission to prisoners, the States and Union Territories, after obtaining the approval of the competent authority in their jurisdictions, have released more than 900 prisoners, a Home Ministry statement said.

In the second and third phase, prisoners will be released on April 6, 2019 and October 2, 2019 respectively.

Eligible categories

The following categories of prisoners are eligible for special remission: women convicts of 55 years of age and above, who have completed half of their actual sentence period, transgender convicts aged 55 and above, who have served half of their actual sentence period, and male convicts aged 60 and above, who have completed 50 per cent of their actual sentence period.

Physically challenged or disabled convicts with 70 per cent disability and more who have completed 50 per cent of their actual sentence period, terminally-ill convicts, convicted prisoners who have completed two-third (66 per cent) of their actual sentence period are also eligible under the scheme.

Special remission scheme is not available to prisoners who have been convicted for an offence for which the sentence awarded is death or where death sentence has been commuted to life imprisonment, and in cases of convicts involved in serious and heinous crimes such as dowry death, rape, human trafficking and convicted under POTA, UAPA, TADA, FICN, POCSO Act, Money Laundering, FEMA, NDPS, Prevention of Corruption Act etc.

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Printable version | Jul 15, 2020 10:25:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/over-900-prisoners-freed-as-part-of-mahatma-gandhis-150th-birth-anniversary/article25194885.ece

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