Undertrials who complete 50% of proposed sentence must be released, says Union Law Minister

Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.   | Photo Credit: PTI


This is part of the reform process to lessen load in jails across the country which are currently at 115.1% occupancy rate: Ravi Shankar Prasad

Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told the Rajya Sabha on Thursday that he had appealed to the Chief Justices of all 25 High Courts to ensure expeditious trial and the release of undertrials who had completed 50% of their proposed sentence.

Release of undertrial prisoners was part of the reform process in jails to lessen the load, he said during Question Hour.

Replying to a supplementary, Mr. Prasad said, “Those who have completed more than 50% of their status as an undertrial in jail, they must be released if they are not serious offenders in more cases. As far as release on bail is concerned, that can be done only and only by judiciary.” Stressing that undertrials were a matter of priority for the government, he reiterated that the law of the land was that if one had completed 50% of time as an undertrial of the proposed sentence, he was entitled to be released.

On doing away with bail bonds, the Minister said, “If there is no bond and if any one runs away from trial what is other way out. It is a complicated issue.”

To a supplementary on women prisoners with children, the Minister said it was a human issue. “The child of a woman prisoner is not accused of an offence. But, the child cannot stay without the mother. How can one leave the child in jail, but how can the child live without a mother. Society has to find an answer to this.”

The Minister said as per the National Crime Records Bureau, 4.50 lakh prisoners were lodged in jails as against the 3.91 lakh capacity, at an occupancy rate of 115.1%.

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Printable version | Dec 16, 2019 1:08:30 PM |

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