The Supreme Court has freed a murder convict who served 28 years 08 months and 21 days in prison.
The Uttar Pradesh Government had rejected Shor's plea for premature release on the ground that he along with 20 co-accused committed the murder of 11 persons with deadly weapons and injured others. The order passed by the Joint Secretary to the UP Government further stated that "premature release of this kind of prisoner would send a negative message against the justice system in the society".
Taking note of Section 2 of the United Provinces Prisoners Release on Probation Act, 1938, the Court observed that the factors that to be taken into account are (i) antecedents (ii) conduct in the prison and (iii) the person, if released, is likely to abstain from crime and lead a peaceable life. Referring to the reasons stated in the order for refusing remission, the bench comprising Justice RF Nariman and Navin Sinha observed that the order has been passed mechanically and without application of mind to Section 2 of the U.P. Act.
"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."
Taking note of his long incarceration of 29 years (approx.) without remission, the Court directed his release forthwith. The State Government can impose such conditions as are mentioned in Section 2 of the U.P. Act, the bench said.
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