Punjab government has authorised all deputy commissioners to grant temporary release to prisoners lodged in jails located in their districts.
In order to cut "red tape" as part of measures to usher in governance reforms in the jails department, the state issued a notification in this regard on Thursday.
In a statement, Punjab Jails Minister Sohan Singh Thandal said chief minister Parkash Singh Badal gave his nod to delegate this power to deputy commissioners of those districts where these jails were located to facilitate early sanction.
Thandal said he had been receiving representation from prisoners and their families that the process of temporarily release was tedious, time consuming and complicated.
They had been complaining that in case medical emergencyand other unforeseen emergency in the immediate family of prisoners, the long time taken in sanctioning of temporary release defeated the very purpose of seeking release, he said.
Deputy commissioners have also been authorised to exercise the power of the state government under sub section (4) of section 3 of the Punjab Good Conduct Prisoners (Temporary Release) Act, 1962 (Punjab Act No 11 of 1962), he said.
Now deputy commissioners could exercise the powers of the state government in respect of the grounds specified in clause (a), (b) and (c) of the sub section (1) of the aforesaid section, he said.
Thandal noted that the deputy commissioner while exercising the powers of the state government could grant temporary release, on furlough to any prisoner lodged in the jails of their district subject to the conditions laid down in the Section 4 of the Punjab Good Conduct Prisoners (Temporary Release) Act, 1962.
He said DCs could exercise these powers in accordance of the Act and guidelines issued by the state government from time to time and under the overall supervision of the state government and additional director general of police-cum-inspector general of police (Jails).