By Achinta Borah
NEW DELHI: Several hundred prisoners, who have not been convicted for murder, rape and corruption, will be released from jails across India on October 2 to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, officials said on Sunday.
The number of prisoners to be released on Gandhi Jayanti could be around 600 and the final list is being prepared by the Union Home Ministry in close coordination with state governments and the union territory administrations.
According to a Home Ministry official, under the scheme for special remission to prisoners to commemorate 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, so far 1,424 prisoners have been released by states and Union territories in two phases — on October 2, 2018 and April 6, 2019.
The third phase of release is due on October 2 and the action is underway by states and UTs, the official said.
Prisoners, including politicians, who have been convicted in cases of murder, rape or corruption, will not be released as part of the amnesty scheme announced by the government last year for the year-long celebrations to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
Women convicts aged 55 years and above and male convicts of 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 the amnesty scheme, the official said.
Transgender convicts of 55 years of age and above, who have completed half of their actual sentence period, without counting the period of general remission earned by them, physically challenged or disabled convicts with 70 per cent disability and more, duly certified by a medical board, who have completed half of their actual sentence period will be eligible for release.
However, the special remission is not to be granted to persons convicted for an offence for which the sentence is death penalty or where death sentence has been commuted to life imprisonment.
The other categories of prisoners who will not be considered for amnesty are: persons convicted for an offence for which punishment of death has been specified as one of the punishments, persons convicted for an offence for which punishment of life imprisonment has been specified as one of the punishments.
Those convicted under the Prevention of Corruption Act, The Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, 1985 (TADA), The Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002 (POTA), Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (UAPA), The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (POCSO), Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA), Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015 will not be released.
Source: Press Trust of India