Several hundred prisoners, who have not been declared guilty in cases of 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 (September 29).
Around 600 prisoners are likely to be released on Gandhi Jayanti and the Union Home Ministry is preparing the final list of prisoners in close coordination with state governments and 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, 1,424 prisoners have been released by states and Union territories so far 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 proven guilty in cases of murder, rape or corruption, will not be released as part of the amnesty scheme.
However, 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.
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.
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, can also be release under this special remission scheme.
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, and persons convicted for an offence for which punishment of life imprisonment has been specified as just one of the punishments.
Those convicted under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, 1985, Prevention of Corruption Act, the Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002, the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015, and Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 will not be released.
(With inputs from agencies)