NEW DELHI: The Central Information Commission has directed the Home Ministry to ask the authorities of the country's jails to prepare lists of undertrial prisoners, who have completed half of the maximum period of imprisonment prescribed for their alleged crime and supposed to be released, and inform them about their date of release.
The CIC order has come on the plea of an RTI applicant who had sought information from Tihar Jail authorities whether Undertrial Review Committee (URC), which is set up to decide on release of such undertrial inmates, have been constituted but did not get complete information.
According to Section 436-A of the CrPC, undertrial prisoners can be detained only half of the maximum period of imprisonment prescribed for the alleged crime for which they have been charged. This does not prevail upon offences for which the punishment of death has been specified as one of the punishments.
The Supreme Court had directed that jurisdictional Magistrate, Chief judicial Magistrates, or Sessions Judge shall hold one sitting in a week in each jail/prison for two months commencing from October 1, 2014 for the purposes of effective implementation of Section 436-A of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
"In its sitting in jail, the above judicial officers shall identify the undertrial prisoners who have completed half period of the maximum period or maximum period of imprisonment provided for the said offence under the law and after complying with the procedure prescribed under Section 436-A pass an appropriate order in jail itself for release of such
under-trial prisoners who fulfil the requirement of Section 436-A for their release immediately," it said.
The Commission directs the Home Department to issue directives to all Jail authorities to prepare the list of undertrial prisoners supposed to be released from time to time at least for every quarter, informing the fact of their release, Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu said in his order.