Bombay high court grants Rs2lakh compensation to convict held in jail beyond life term
Mumbai city news: Ranjitsingh Gill was arrested in August 1975 on murder charges.mumbai Updated: Jul 15, 2017 01:18 IST
The Bombay high court has granted compensation of Rs2lakh to a 63-year-old murder convict from Aurangabad because he was kept in jail for three years and nine months beyond his sentence.
A division bench of justices TV Nalawade and Sunil Kotwal directed the government to pay the amount to Ranjitsingh Gill within 45 days, failing which it would have to shell out interest at the rate of 12% a year.
Gill was arrested in August 1975 on murder charges. He was acquitted by a trial court but the Bombay high court overturned the order and sentenced him to life imprisonment. The high court order was later upheld by the Supreme Court.
After serving 17 years and nine months in jail, Gill was released in February 2002. Two years later, he approached the high court, seeking compensation of Rs25 lakh on the grounds that he was illegally detained for three years and nine months beyond the term of his sentence.
Though the court agreed that section 433A (giving powers to state to commute or remit sentence) of the Criminal Procedure Code, which came into effect three years after his conviction, was not applicable in this case, it said that the government had failed to release him on time. “This court holds that compensation needs to be paid to the petitioner,” ruled the court. “On the date he submitted his petition, the petitioner was about 50-year-old and it can be said that he lost more than three years of his active life owing to the illegal detention,” said the bench. “When a person is kept behind bars, his entire family suffers. In our society, the male member is generally the main earner of the family,” it observed