Rajnath rejects Punjab appeal

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh with Shiromani Akali Dal President Sukhbir Singh Badal in New Delhi on Thursday.  

The Union Home Ministry has ruled out premature release of those convicted for life in heinous crimes like the assassination of Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh, but is willing to examine other proposals of the Punjab government for release of prisoners.

Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, accompanied by Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee president Avtar Singh Makkar, met Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday and handed to him a list of names seeking their release.

After the meeting, Mr. Badal told journalists that the Home Minister said he would get the list and petitions examined legally.

On the issue of the Punjab Chief Minister’s recent request to his counterparts in several States asking for the release of life-term terror convicts, Mr. Badal said a wrong impression was being created that the State government had asked for premature release of prisoners. He said the demand was only to free those who had served their minimum sentence.

“We are asking for their release on humanitarian grounds,” said Mr. Badal, stating that some of these prisoners had even crossed the age of 90 years.

“While there are 182 life-term convicts in Punjab jails, 13 are lodged in jails of five other States. “Those convicted for life in serious offences like terrorism cannot be released. The Supreme Court has already held that life imprisonment means jail for whole life. However, we may consider select cases where people convicted for other crimes have completed at least 20 years in jail. Such cases have to be examined legally.”

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2022 9:11:30 AM |

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