NEW DELHI:Women convicts aged 55 years or more and male convicts aged 60 years or more who have completed half of their sentence, and a few other categories of prisoners in jails across the country will be released under an amnesty scheme to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, beginning October 2. The decision to give special remission to prisoners was taken on Wednesday at a meeting of the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
As part of the year-long celebrations to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, thousands of prisoners would be given an early release in three phases. However, prisoners convicted of crimes such as dowry death, rape, human trafficking and under Prevention of Terrorism Act, Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Act, and the anti-money laundering law, among others, will not be released under the scheme.
“Special remission will not be given to prisoners who have been convicted for an offence for which the sentence is death penalty or where sentence has been commuted to life imprisonment,” said a senior home ministry official.
In the first phase, the prisoners will be released on October 2, in the second phase on April 10 next year, the anniversary of the Champaran satyagrah, and in the third phase on October 2, 2019.The Ministry of Home Affairs will issue advisories to all states and Union Territories, asking them to process the cases of eligible prisoners, a statement issued by the government read. After the approval, the prisoners will be released.