CONVICTS LODGED in Punjab jails may soon have some reason to cheer with Punjab government deciding to enhance the maximum parole period from 84 days to 120 days in one year.
Sources told The Indian Express that government would dedicate the enhancement in parole period to 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev as a “goodwill gesture” for the prisoners lodged in Punjab jails.
In effect, this means that convicts would get to go out of jail on parole for four months, out of total 12 months in a year – one third of a year. A senior government functionary said draft of the amendment in Punjab Good Conduct Prisoners (Temporary Release) Act, 1962 was ready to enhance the parole period and may be introduced in the winter session of Punjab Vidhan Sabha which commences on December 13.
The draft is likely to be taken up by the Punjab council of ministers who meet on Monday in a cabinet meeting. The previous SAD-BJP government had a couple of years back had enhanced the parole period of convicts in a year for categories, including non-farming purposes from 42 days to 84 days by amending the legislation.
A government functionary said convicts applying for parole for farming practices such as harvesting were eligible for 84-day parole and through that amendment, the government had bracketed all others including parole seekers under non-farming category into 84-day parole period in a year.
The existing maximum parole of 84 days in a year could be availed twice, 42 days each in a year, or could be further split into four parole periods of 21 days each, said an official.