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Supreme Court of India: Release Of Undertrial Prisoners Is True Celebration Of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav

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Supreme Court of India: The Supreme Court said, the release of prisoners who have been in jail for years would be the right way to celebrate the 75th year of India’s independence (Amrit Mahotsav). The central government should soon prepare such a scheme so that the prisoners involved in undertrial and petty crimes can be released.A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and MM Sundaresh said, if the judiciary cannot decide the cases within 10 years, the prisoners should ideally be released on bail. If a person is finally acquitted after 10 years he cannot get back the years of his life.

Justice Kaul told Additional Solicitor General (ASG) KM Natraj, appearing for the central government, that the government is celebrating 75 years of independence as ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’. Taking measures to release undertrials and prisoners who have spent a substantial part of their sentence in jail is a use of celebration in the true sense.

The idea is to reduce the burden of jails and trial courts. For this, the Center should develop a policy in consultation with the states and union territories. So that certain categories of undertrials and convicts can be released after a certain period.

The bench made these observations after it took stock of the long pending appeals and bail applications in the High Court of the country and found that the accused and the convicts are awaiting disposal of the cases. Last year, the bench had initiated suo motu proceedings to oversee the implementation of its directions to undertrial prisoners and grant of bail to prisoners pending appeal.

Not at all that the perpetrator should not be punished
“We are not saying that the one who has committed the crime should not be imprisoned,” the bench said. But running the trial for a long time and keeping someone behind the bars for a long time without conviction may not be the solution. Also, for the first time, those convicted of petty crimes can be released on a bond of good behaviour.

Similarly, undertrials should also be released on bail after serving in prison for a term of one-third or more of the likely sentence. In response, ASG Natraj said, the suggestion of the bench will have to be examined under the existing legal framework.

Think ‘out of the box’

The bench urged the Center to think ‘out of the box’. The bench said, it is a matter of concern. You should think out of the box. Who is going to give his life back to him if he is acquitted of all charges after 10 years. If we cannot decide a case within 10 years, ideally he should be given bail.

The bench also regretted that the punitive principle of punishment is given priority before the lower courts. The reformist theory of punishment is completely ignored. One of the purposes of punishment is also to connect the accused with the mainstream of the society.

It will happen this year only, do some start before 15th August
When asked by the ASG that he would bring directions in this regard, the bench said, “It can happen only this year, not later.” The bench said that before August 15, start something. At least some tokens can be done immediately. This will send a big message. The Supreme Court also said that putting people behind bars or opposing bail. There can never be a solution.

Expansion

Supreme Court of India: The Supreme Court said, the release of prisoners who have been in jail for years would be the right way to celebrate the 75th year of India’s independence (Amrit Mahotsav). The central government should soon prepare such a scheme so that the prisoners involved in undertrial and petty crimes can be released.

A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and MM Sundaresh said, if the judiciary cannot decide the cases within 10 years, the prisoners should ideally be released on bail. If a person is finally acquitted after 10 years he cannot get back the years of his life.

Justice Kaul told Additional Solicitor General (ASG) KM Natraj, appearing for the central government, that the government is celebrating 75 years of independence as ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’. Taking measures to release undertrials and prisoners who have spent a substantial part of their sentence in jail is a use of celebration in the true sense.

The idea is to reduce the burden of jails and trial courts. For this, the Center should develop a policy in consultation with the states and union territories. So that certain categories of undertrials and convicts can be released after a certain period.

The bench made these observations after it took stock of the long pending appeals and bail applications in the High Court of the country and found that the accused and the convicts are awaiting disposal of the cases. Last year, the bench had initiated suo motu proceedings to oversee the implementation of its directions to undertrial prisoners and grant of bail to prisoners pending appeal.

Not at all that the perpetrator should not be punished

“We are not saying that the one who has committed the crime should not be imprisoned,” the bench said. But running the trial for a long time and keeping someone behind the bars for a long time without conviction may not be the solution. Also, for the first time, those convicted of petty crimes can be released on a bond of good behaviour.
Similarly, undertrials should also be released on bail after serving in prison for a term of one-third or more of the likely sentence. In response, ASG Natraj said, the suggestion of the bench will have to be examined under the existing legal framework.

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