In some good news for prisoners across Telangana, the state government has decided to release inmates who have displayed good conduct, among many other criteria, on the occasion of Independence Day this year.
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao Wednesday held a review meeting with Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar, director-general of police M Mahendar Reddy, director-general of prisons Rajiv Trivedi, and asked officials to prepare a list of eligible prisoners. He also examined the guidelines pertaining to the release of the prisoners.
With less than 25 days to go, the department will have to race against time to get some prisoners remitted on time.
In August 2016, as many as 251 prisoners walked out free based on their good conduct. But the process had begun as early as in October 2015. Since 2016, several prisoners have been waiting for the remission of their sentences.
At present, there are 5,777 prisoners lodged in 37 prisons across the State. Of them, roughly 300 women prisoners are housed at the Special Prison for Women in Cherlapally. The prison inmates also include undertrial prisoners, remand prisoners, and detenues, who will not be eligible for remission. The total capacity of Telangana prisons is 6,848.
It is, however, too early to say how many inmates would be released on August 15, said officials on condition of anonymity. “It is a meticulous process that involves a lot of permutations and combinations, and the screening has to be done thoroughly. We cannot give any figures at the moment. The aim is to finish the process and get eligible prisoners out on August 15,” said a senior official.
Stating that the exercise is yet to begin, the official said every prison will have to send their proposal to the headquarters in Hyderabad soon. The list of names will be examined by a committee at the DG’s office and forwarded to the state government. A committee at the government level will further examine the names before permitting remission.
The remission will be applicable only for convicts, and preference will be given to elderly persons, as per guidelines. Those serving sentences for terrorism or narcotics-related offenses, for crime against women and children, assaults on public servants, and also those convicted in dacoity and murders will not be considered.
While good conduct is the central criterion, the eligibility for remission also depends on the number of years of sentence exhausted by the inmate. “For different types of offences, different durations of exhausted sentences will be considered. It also depends on the age of the inmate. The exhausted sentence to be considered for a 70-year-old will be different from that for a younger person,” he said.
In 2016, the state government had appointed a six-member committee comprising the Principal Secretary (Home), the secretary (Legal Affairs), the director-general of police, the chief legal advisor-CID, the inspector general of police (Intelligence) and the director-general of prisons at the state level. They were tasked with the review of the list forwarded by the prisons department and recommend eligible cases for grant of special remission.
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