Some prisoners may walk free this Gandhi Jayanti

State planning premature release of those who have completed 14 year of sentence

The State government is planning premature release of some prisoners who have completed 14 years of sentence, on October 2 on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti, Law Minister T B Jayachandra said on Monday.

Speaking to reporters, he said though the State Cabinet recently modified the guidelines for prisoners’ release, the government will obtain the permission of Governor Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala before their release. The governor has, on his part, agreed to extend all cooperation to the government in this regard, he added.
He, however, did not divulge how many prisoners the government is planning to release. A list will be prepared in coordination with the Home department.
Besides, permission of the Supreme Court is necessary for premature release of any prisoner, he added.

The Cabinet recently modified the guidelines empowering the government to release prisoners who have completed 14 years of sentence under CrPC Section 432. Premature release of prisoners was last done in 2006 in the State.

Asked whether the governor had taken any objection to amending the guidelines, the minister repeated that the governor had assured to cooperate with the government. “The government has neither clipped the powers of the governor on premature release of prisoners, nor is it on a confrontational path with the Raj Bhavan. Many of the prisoners who have completed 14 years’ sentence are senior citizens and women. So, the government wants to release them on humanitarian grounds,” he pointed out.

Bill on land grabbing
Jayachandra said he was scheduled to meet Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in Delhi on Tuesday to urge him to initiate steps for clearing a long-pending bill that seeks to prohibit land-grabbing in the State. The bill is currently pending before the President for his assent.

The Karnataka Land Grabbing (Prohibition) Bill, 2007 seeks to invoke the Goonda Act against land grabbers and set up special courts to try them. The State Law department has already clarified all queries by the Union government pertaining to the bill. The Union Home minister will be requested to expedite the process of getting the President’s assent, he added.

The government, at the same time, has been taking steps to recover encroachments of its lands as per the findings and recommendations of a Legislature Committee headed by A T Ramaswamy. The Karnataka High Court, too, has been monitoring the implementation of the committee’s report.  A vigilance cell has been set up and steps are being taken to strengthen the administrative machinery for taking action against land grabbers and recovering the encroached land, he said.

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