A set of guidelines were issued by the Tamil Nadu government on Thursday to consider the premature release of 700 life convicts to celebrate the birth anniversary of former Chief Minister CN Annadurai in Chennai.
A state-level panel headed by the Director General of Police-Prisons and Directorate General of Correctional Services (DGP-DGP-CS) will make recommendations to the government as per the guidelines.
Subject to the conditions, premature release is open to life convicts, although it cannot be claimed as a right.
An official told PTI that more than 3,000 are serving life sentences in Tamil Nadu.
The eligibility factors for considering the premature release of convicts by the authorities are broadly divided into two heads under the scheme.
The first is applicable to convicts who have completed 10 years of actual imprisonment and the second is to those who have undergone 20 years of imprisonment.
September 15, 2021, the 113th birth anniversary of Annadurai, who is also the founder of the DMK and Dravidian ideologue, is the cut-off date for computing the actual term of imprisonment.
In general, those convicted of offenses including crimes against the state, rape, terrorism and violence involving communal or religious grounds are outside the purview of the premature release scheme under both the heads. Prisoners convicted of specific crimes, including economic and cruelty against women, are ineligible.
“The life prisoners released prematurely under this scheme shall execute the bond as per normal terms and conditions.”
The guidelines for considering release differ to an extent in respect of convicts who have completed imprisonment for 10 years and 20 years.
“Prisoners convicted of more than one murder and their life imprisonment ordered to run concurrently,” is one of the criteria mentioned in the list of ineligibility factors for those who have undergone 10 years of actual imprisonment. Huh.
“Prisoners convicted of more than two murders and their life imprisonment ordered to run concurrently,” is one of the ineligibility criteria for considering the premature release of life convicts who have completed 20 years of imprisonment. .
The behavior of prisoners is a major factor and the norms specify the category of prisoners who are ineligible and thus cannot be considered for release.
To investigate the premature release on case to case basis, the government constituted a state level committee under the chairmanship of DGP-DGP-CS.
There will be a district committee which will submit the proposal. The Range Level Jail Officers will scrutinize the proposals of the District Level Panel and forward the same to the State Committee along with the recommendations.
The Director General of Police-Directorate General of Prisons will investigate the cases as per the guidelines mentioned in the mandate dated November 15, 2021.
Chief Minister MK Stalin had announced in the Assembly on September 13 that the government, following laws and regulations, would take steps for the premature release of 700 life convicts as a humanitarian gesture to celebrate the late leader’s 113th birth anniversary.