Tuesday, Aug 16, 2022
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UP Govt Withdraws 60-Year Age Bar For Release Of Life-Term Prisoners, Revises Policy

As per the new policy, the Uttar Pradesh government would consider the release of an inmate sentenced to life imprisonment for an offence like murder only after he has completed a jail term of 16 years without remission or 20 years with remission.

Representational Image
Representational Image PTI

The Uttar Pradesh government, in a new policy, has decided to remove the 60-year age bar for the release of life-term prisoners. 

Removal of the age bar also implies that the state government, while making this amendment to its prison policy, has considered the premature release of life-term prisoners even below 60 years of age.

All about the new policy

Back in 2018, the Uttar Pradesh government had prepared a premature release policy for life-term prisoners which did not set any age bar for them. In 2021, the government amended it to stipulate that a life-term convict would be eligible for premature release only after he attains the age of 60 years. This age bar has now been removed.

The newly revised policy suggests that the state government would consider the release of an inmate sentenced to life imprisonment for an offence like murder only after he has completed a jail term of 16 years without remission or 20 years with remission.

According to the UP Director-General, Prison, Anand Kumar, the new policy would benefit a large number of convicts facing life terms and implementation of the new policy would also help in decongesting the crowded jails across the state.

The new policy also explicitly mentions that the cases against murder convicts also should not share a similar category with the heinous crimes like terror and waging war against the state. It also suggests that the central investigative agencies should not be involved in the investigation of these cases and the convicts should not have been booked under a central law. However, the new policy is not applicable to the inmates convicted for a life term by a court in other states.

Maintaining similarity with the previous policy, in the new one too, the government sticks to the old rule of the releasing the inmates sentenced to life for offences such as kidnapping for murder, kidnapping in order to subject a person to grievous hurt and slavery, selling and purchase of minor for purpose of prostitution, rape and others only after they have served the jail term for 20 years without remission and 25 years with remission.

The convicts, sentenced to life for the mass murder charge, would be released after he/she has served the jail term of 25 years without remission and 30 years with remission.

A new clause also finds a place in the revised policy which states that the Release Proposal Committee, which is bestowed with the responsibility to decide on the premature release of life-term convicts, may cancel the release of an inmate if it is found to cause any law and order problem.

Current statistics of prisoners in Uttar Pradesh

In Uttar Pradesh, the convicted prisoners are kept in central jails located in Prayagraj, Varanasi, Fatehgarh, Etawah, Bareilly and Agra.

There are nearly 30,000 convicted prisoners, of whom about 12,000 have been facing life terms.

According to a senior official, all the 63 district jails present in the state are also used to keep convicted prisoners.

The inmates with good records inside the prisons are sent to Model Jail in Lucknow.  A woman central jail has also been opened in Bareilly.
 

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