GO on criteria for release of prisoners

The State government has issued an order listing the criteria for the release of life-term prisoners on good behaviour.

Officials told Deccan Herald that the government order (GO) would form the premise for the Cabinet decision earlier last week to release prisoners serving life term for various offences. 

The GO, which reiterates the conditions laid down by the government on who is eligible for pardon, will be dispatched to all the eight divisional prisons that house those sentenced to life. Accordingly, the Prison Advisory Board of every divisional jail will shortlist the names of prisoners who may be eligible for release under the criteria laid down in the GO.

“Once the boards finalise the list of names to be released, it will be dispatched to the Home department. We will then place the list of names and their crimes before the Cabinet. The Cabinet decision on the final list will be dispatched to the Governor who is the final authority to decide the release of prisoners,” said Home Secretary Charan Reddy. 

Officials said it would take at least four weeks for the final list to be drawn. Officials in the governor’s office said the government had so far not dispatched any list or the number of prisoners to be released on a specific date. 

It is said Governor H R Bhardwaj would decide the release of prisoners based on the rulings of the Supreme Court and the High Court of Karnataka.

The High Court had taken strong exception to the release of 309 prisoners in 2006 during the tenure of former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy. 

The then Cabinet had decided to free 22 types of criminals ineligible for pardon. It is learnt that over 1,000 prisoners are awaiting premature release from jails in the State as per the recommendations of the previous governments.

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