Telangana HC directs State to quickly process the remission petitions of life convicts

HC directed Principal Secy (Prisons), to communicate with the Governor and provide an overview of the timeframes stipulated by SC for processing petitions filed by life convicts seeking remission.

Published: 11th August 2023 08:03 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th August 2023 08:03 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Justice K Lakshman of the Telangana High Court on Thursday directed Ravi Gupta, Principal Secretary, Home Department (Prisons), to communicate with the Governor and provide an overview of the timeframes stipulated by the Supreme Court for processing petitions filed by life convicts seeking remission under Article-161 of the Constitution.

The Principal Secretary was directed to seek early clearance for the file, while also considering the principles outlined in the Raj Kumar alias Bittu case, so that the life convicts eligible for remission are released not later than August 15, 2023.

The court was hearing a plea filed by Mohd Sarfaraz, a resident of New Aghapura, Nampally, alleging a deliberate violation of a collective order issued by the court on June 1, 2021, pertaining to a batch of petitions.

The order specifically directed the respondent, Principal Secretary of the Home Department (Prisons), to evaluate the case of Mohd Sarwar, a life-convict and father of the petitioner. The evaluation was to be carried out based on the order dated December 19, 2016, and the established guidelines outlined in GO Ms. No. 195.

The order had made it clear that the evaluation should encompass factors such as the actual sentence, total sentence served by the life-convict, including remand periods and earned remissions, and the principles established by the Supreme Court and other High Courts. The court warned that failure to comply with these instructions would be treated seriously. The court also pointed to previous orders related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In response, the Principal Secretary of the Home Department (Prisons), submitted a counter argument stating that the life-convict’s case was reviewed on October 13, 2021, in conjunction with other convict prisoners from the same criminal case. Upon review, the Committee recommended the premature release of the life-convicts. However, this recommendation is still pending approval from the Governor.

The court observed that the rejection of the life convict’s request for remission by the respondent on July 29, 2021, based on the grounds that the deceased was a ‘Public Servant,’ was contrary to the court’s previous order.

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