150th Gandhi Jayanti: Amnesty scheme for prisoners

Women and transgender convicts above 55 years of age and male convicts above 60 years, who have completed 50% of their actual sentence, will be released under an amnesty scheme to commemorate Mahatma Gandhi's 150th birth anniversary.

Physically challenged convicts with 70% disability or more, who have completed 50% of their actual sentence, terminally ill convicts and convicted prisoners who have completed two-third of their actual sentence will also benefit from the amnesty scheme spread over a period of one year.

While the first batch would be released on October 2 this year, the second batch would be freed on April 10, 2019 to mark the anniversary of Champaran Satyagraha. The third batch will be set free on October 2, 2019.

"The 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi is a significant occasion and giving special remission to prisoners is considered a desirable and befitting commemoration and a homage to the Father of the Nation and the humanitarian values Mahatma Gandhi stood for," an official statement said.

The decision was taken at a Cabinet meeting here chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and officials said this could also ease some pressure on the jails, which are over-crowded.

No pardon

However, special remission will not be given to prisoners who have been convicted for an offence for which the sentence is death or where death sentence has been commuted to life imprisonment. Those convicts involved in serious and heinous crimes like dowry death, rape, human trafficking and convicted under POTA, UAPA, TADA, FICN, POCSO Act, money laundering, FEMA, NDPS and Prevention of Corruption Act will not get the benefit.

The Ministry of Home Affairs will soon issue advice to all states to process the cases of eligible prisoners. State governments will be advised to constitute a committee to examine the cases. The recommendations will be placed before the Governor for consideration and approval under Article 161 of the Constitution.

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150th Gandhi Jayanti: Amnesty scheme for prisoners

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