After being questioned by the Punjab and Haryana high court about the rationale of issuing a circular granting remissions and premature release to rape convicts, the Punjab government has started the process of amending the relevant policy.
In a reply to the demand notice issued by advocate HC Arora to the state government authorities on the subject, the latter has informed him that the matter regarding amendment in the policy issued by the government on August 8, 2011, is under consideration. The reply stated that after an appropriate decision on the matter, the requisite amendment shall be made in the policy.
Arora had filed a public interest litigation in the high court, on which the court had on January 8 suggested the state government to withdraw the circular "in view of the prevailing atmosphere in the country".
The court had further asked how the state government could order the premature release of rape convicts even before the completion of seven years of minimum sentence as per law in rape cases registered under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code.
Arora had found out under the Right To Information (RTI) Act that the Punjab government had released 93 life convicts in various crimes, including rape convicts, from its jails between March 1, 2007 and April 30, 2008.