An 82-year-old murder convict,Shanti,who was languishing in jail for want of two sureties since her mercy petition was accepted in 2009,was finally released from prison Tuesday afternoon.
On a request made by the prison department,the state government relaxed norms and ordered her release on humanitarian ground against a personal bond of Rs 5,000.
A native of Anchaura village in Bulandshahr,Shanti was lodged at Nari Bandi Niketan in Lucknow. This is the first time when the government has ordered release of a prisoner on personal bond.
Last month in October,The Indian Express had written about Shanti who was lying in jail despite pardon.
Several such prisoners,whose mercy petitions have been admitted,are still languishing in jail on account of lack of two sureties. Recently,one of such convicts died in Barabanki jail.
On Tuesday,Shantis son Vijay Kumar Singh along with his wife Beena Singh reached Nari Bandi Niketan to take her home. They came to Lucknow after getting information from jail officials about her release.
I met my mother today after almost five years. I had lost hope that my mother would ever return home. I am thankful to the jail staff for taking efforts for her release her and taking care of her. I would try to keep my mother happy,said Vijay,who is a watchman at Sangatpur village in Amritsar.
Shanti was lodged in Nari Bandi Niketan since May 2003 after she was transferred from Muzaffarnagar jail. She was convicted in a murder case of four of a family in the neighbourhood following a property dispute.
Two of her sons were also named in the FIR. On February 15,2003,a Bulandshahr court awarded death sentence to Shanti,which was commuted to life by the High Court on February 4,2005.
While one of her sons is lodged in Bulandshahr jail,other one reportedly died a few years ago.
In view of her failing health,Shanti was unable to walk alone and could not see or hear properly,the state government ordered her release in 2009,after Governor accepted her mercy petition October 26,2009.
Subsequently,the jail authorities had been making efforts for two sureties in favour of Shanti,but failed to arrange one. Shantis son Vijay too could not arrange for the sureties,following which the jail authorities requested the state government for her release a personal bond.
Last month,the government ordered for her release on personal bond.
Murder convict Nazir Ali,who had spent over 19 years in Barabanki jail and had got Governors mercy November 28,2007,died of illness on September 18,2008 as he failed to arrange sureties.
Another murder convict Jagrai,a native of Jharkhands West Singhbhum district and lodged in Naini central jail for last 24 years,had got mercy in February,2009. He was sentenced to life in a murder case that took place in 1992. He wrote a letter to jail officials requesting to release him on personal bond as he has no family.