State awaits SC order on prisoners' release

Home Minister K J George on Thursday said the State government was awaiting the Supreme Court’s vacation of stay on the premature release of life convicts on good behaviour, before approving the list of prisoners to be released from prisons across Karnataka.

Addressing party workers at the KPCC head office, he said the government was ready with 200 names but awaiting the apex court’s verdict in the premature release of convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. “Once the stay is vacated, we will proceed,” he said, adding that the government had already filed an application in Supreme Court to vacate the stay and allow the release of prisoners on good behaviour.

On the Cabinet decision to curtail the powers of the governor while recommending names of prisoners to be released, George said changes in the guidelines were only related to Section 423 of the CrPC. “Otherwise, we have not curtailed any powers,” he said.

He said the government had been periodically reviewing the cases of undertrials, and those who had served half their sentence even before trial began, had been released. He said as of September 17, there were no undertrials eligible to be released in the near future.

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