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'New parole guidelines in soon'

delhi Updated: Nov 11, 2009 23:13 IST
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New guidelines for parole would be framed in a couple of weeks, a senior Delhi government official said in New Delhi on Wednesday.

"The new proposed guidelines have already been sent to Lt Governor Tejendra Khanna last week for his approval. We are waiting for his approval and hoping that the decision will be taken in a week's time," Delhi Chief Secretary Rakesh Mehta told IANS.

The proposed guidelines include fixing of a specific time period (30 days) for police to complete the verification process when an inmate seeks parole.

A senior government official said, "Another important point is that under the new guidelines, the parole period will be included in the prison term itself."

After the Lt governor's approval, the file will be sent to the Delhi High Court for final clearance.

On Oct 21, the Delhi High Court while expressing concern for the inmates languishing in Tihar jail had asked the city government to formulate new guidelines within four weeks so that parole pleas of convicts can be heard early.

The court had passed the order on a plea of 28 Tihar jail prisoners who in a letter to the court complained about the delay in hearing their parole pleas.

The letter led to a follow-up report from the Delhi Legal Services Authority (DLSA), which said it reflects the state of affairs of prisoners in the capital.

"Prisoners in Delhi are... cut off from society... Our morale is low," the Tihar inmates said in their letter written in Hindi and dated on July 13.

"In other northern states, 90 per cent prisoners get parole, whereas here only five to 10 percent are let off on parole - that too for a very little time," they added.

As per the law, a prisoner can get parole for various reasons - to visit a dying or sick family member, building a house or to repair a badly damaged home, among others.

The High Court on Tuesday had asked the Delhi government's home secretary to explain the reasons for the delay in disposing of the parole pleas of convicts.