The Punjab and Haryana high court has directed the Punjab government to submit a detailed reply about pending cases of premature release of prisoners in various jails across the state.
Hearing a case highlighting that the state government had been delaying premature release cases of prisoners even for years after being forwarded by the jail superintendent, the high court directed to file the report as to when the cases were forwarded from various jails, at what stage these were pending and the reasons for pendency. The court has now granted four weeks to the state to file the details in chart form.
During the arguments, the court was informed by the petitioners' counsel that there were cases where the delay on the part of state government was even more than two years. It was alleged that the state government was releasing some of the well-connected prisoners whereas cases of others were kept pending.
However, the state government counsel informed the court that in order to streamline the procedure of premature release of prisoners, the single-file system had been introduced, under which such cases are directly sent to the home secretary by the additional director general of police (jails) so that minimum time may be consumed in taking decisions. It was informed that the decision was taken in April and now the same procedure would be followed so that there was no delay in processing such cases.
The court also directed Haryana and Chandigarh authorities to file detailed replies in the case.