Six months after he announced an ambitious plan to decongest the country’s prisons, Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily on Saturday said his ministry had achieved the target by having ensured the release of more than two lakh undertrial prisoners.
“We found that majority of undertrials suffered in jails for years after being arrested for petty offences and were kept in confinement during the entire period of their trials,” Moily said.
“In many cases, the undertrials had already served the maximum sentence that would have been imposed on them had they been convicted by the courts,” the minister said.
According to the figures of “Mission Undertrial” provided by the law ministry, nearly two lakh undertrials had been released either on bail or their cases had been disposed of. The official figures show 14,258 undertrials had been convicted also during the six month period.
Moily said the initiative would provide relief to more than a million (10 lakh) people. “Every family, on an average has five members. With the release of two lakh prisoners, we have ended the agony of more than a million people,” he said.
The programme was launched on January 26 and would conclude on July 31.