THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Supreme Court order on Friday for releasing undertrials, who have served half of the maximum jail term their offence prescribes under law, without trial would have little impact on Kerala as the jails in the state has none in the specified category.
Currently, there are no prisoners who are in jails without trial as per the statistics collected from jail superintendents a week ago following a direction from the Union Home Ministry, said sources in the Prisons Department.
‘’The Union Home Ministry in its routine quarterly meetings used to seek such statistics from all the states. A week ago they had asked for the details on prisoners who have been housed in jails without trail and there was none as per the information provided by the jail superintendents. Anyway, we will be crosschecking it against the backdrop of the Supreme Court directive to make sure that there was no lapses,’’ a source said.
It has also been pointed out that the weak implementation of 436 A of the Code of Criminal Procedure made the apex court to issue such an order.
436 A of the CrPC provides that in cases other than cases where death sentence is provided, once the prisoner during the period of investigations, inquiry or trial has undergone detention up to half of the maximum period of imprisonment specified for that offence under the law, he should be released by the court on his personal bond with or without sureties subject to expectations as may be recorded for reasons in writing by the court.
PDP leader Abdul Nasser Madhani, who has been lodged in Karnataka jail for his alleged involvement in the 2008 Bangalore serial blasts, would have been one among the hundreds of prisoners in the country to have benefited from the SC order.
However, since he has been charged with sections the punishment for which could be even death sentence, the question of his release as per the SC order doesn’t arise.