Scrutiny of applications filed by 1,500 Andhra Pradesh prisoners, including life convicts, for remission of sentence was on Tuesday permitted by the Supreme Court under the state government's 2007 order.
A Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan modified its August 16, 2007 by which it had stayed the government's order on the release of the prisoners.
The Bench said the state government will have to strictly follow the established law and guidelines in relation to remission of sentence and applications of all prisoners, many of whom are serving life imprisonment, have to be scrutinised by a committee in accordance with the government order.
It said the recommendation of the committee will have to be forwarded to the government, which will pass an appropriate order.
The Bench clarified that any decision in this regard would be open to judicial scrutiny.
Earlier, after staying the decision, the court last year had expressed anguish that how could the state government take a decision to release on "whole sale" basis 1,500 prisoners, many of whom are life convicts, by granting remission in contravention of the established law and guidelines.
The state government's order had envisaged to release 1,500 prisoners by granting them pardon on August 15, 2007 on the occasion of 150 years of the First war of Independence (1857).
The court on February 8 last year had expressed displeasure that after it stayed in August 16, 2007 the release of prisoners, the government decided to keep a watch on the movements of the petitioner who was dubbed as an extremist belonging to CPI (Maoist).