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SC Questions Haryana Govt's Policy Allowing Premature Release Of Life Convicts Aged Above 75 [Read Order]

10 May 2020 2:33 PM GMT
SC Questions Haryana Govt
"Prima facie the Policy appears to be in conflict with Section 433A of the Code of Criminal Procedure."
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The Supreme Court has issued notice to the State of Haryana asking it to explain its policy which conferred the benefit of remission on convicts who stood convicted for life sentence and are above the age of 75 years (in case of male convicts) and have completed 8 years of actual sentence.

Prima facie the Policy appears to be in conflict with Section 433A of the Code of Criminal Procedure, said the bench comprising of Justices Uday Umesh Lalit and Dinesh Maheshwari. The bench has asked the state to file its response to these queries:

  • Whether a Policy could be framed under Article 161 of the Constitution of India, which would run counter to the mandate of Section 433A Cr.P.C.;
  • Whether all individual cases in which benefit was granted in respect of the aforesaid Policy were placed before the Governor of the State and whether facts of individual cases were considered by the authority before granting benefit of remission.

The court was considering a case of a murder convict who was released after completing 8 years of actual sentence invoking this policy.

Section 433-A of CrPC provides that a convict shall not be released from jail unless he had served at least 14 years of the imprisonment, if he has been sentenced to life for an offence that entails maximum of death sentence or in cases where capital punishment has been commuted. The Court had earlier held that there cannot be State Probation Rules in total contradiction to the Section 433A of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

When the appeal had come for hearing, the bench had asked the state whether its policy permits premature release even before completion of actual sentence of 14 years in connection with an offence punishable under Section 302 IPC.

The case is posted for further consideration in July first week. 

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