The Supreme Court has ordered release of a murder convict who spent around 29 years 10 months in prison.
The bench comprising Justices NV Ramana, S. Abdul Nazeer and Surya Kant were considering a writ petition filed by one Munna, who is now aged about 79, convicted for his involvement in the murder of 11 persons with deadly weapons and injured others. The incident happened in the year 1989.
He submitted before the Court that he is undergoing the sentence imposed on him of imprisonment for life, and has been in jail since the date of his arrest on 02.02.1989 (except for a brief period of around 2 years when he was released on goodwill by the government of Uttar Pradesh). The Government had rejected his application for premature release under Section 2 of the Uttar Pradesh Prisoners Release on Probation Act, 1938. He submitted that some of the co-convicts seeking similar relief, were released by the Supreme Court last month.
Taking note of the grounds stated in the order rejecting his plea seeking premature release, the bench observed:
Even in this matter, it appears that the authority has not taken into consideration the conditions that are required to be looked into for the purpose of releasing a prisoner under Section 2 of the U.P. Act. Rather, there is only a mention that the crime that the Petitioner was involved in is heinous, and there is no appreciation of the record to suggest whether he is likely to abstain from crime and lead a peaceable life. In fact, the prison records suggest that his jail conduct is good. Additionally, it appears that the Petitioner is currently around 79 years old and has undergone around 29 years 10 months without remission, and around 36 years imprisonment including remission.
The bench then allowed his petition in the same terms as in writ petition filed by his co-accused.
"Merely repeating the fact that the crime is heinous and that release of such a person would send a negative message against the justice system in the society are factors de hors Section 2. Conduct in prison has not been referred to at all and the Senior Superintendent of Police and the District Magistrate confirming that the prisoner is not "incapacitated" from committing the crime is not tantamount to stating that he is likely to abstain from crime and lead a peaceable life if released from prison.", the bench of Justices Justice RF Nariman and Navin Sinha had observed while allowing the co-accused petition.
Case name: MUNNA vs. STATE OF UTTAR PRADESHCase no.: WRIT PETITION (CRIMINAL) No. 4 OF 2020 Coram: Justices NV Ramana, S. Abdul Nazeer and Surya KantCounsel: AOR Samir Malik, Adv Z.U. Khan, for petitioner AOR Sarvesh Singh Baghel, Adv Rajan Kumar Chourasia for Respondent
Click here to Read/Download Order