The Punjab and Haryana high court on Monday issued a notice of motion to the Punjab government on a petition seeking abolition of special consideration given to life convicts lodged at the Nabha open jail as compared to other prisons’ inmates with regard to premature release of life convicts.
The petition came up for hearing before the division bench comprising justices SK Mittal and Arun Palli.
The petitioner had raised the issue after the recent release of life convict in murder case, Gurmeet Singh alias Pinki, from the open jail, Nabha, before completion of 10 years’ actual sentence, and now the court has directed the state government to file its reply before the next date of hearing on November 4.
During the hearing of the case, the Punjab government informed the court that 279 parole jumpers from Punjab jails were still at large and security amount in 99 cases had been forfeited.
Meanwhile, the Haryana government informed the court that in all 81 cases security amount of such parole jumpers had been forfeited.
The Haryana government also expressed its agreement with the petitioner’s suggestion that the amount of surety bond for granting parole to life convicts should be increased to at least Rs. 2 lakh and prayed that the high court might issue directions in this regard.
The court also issued notice to the Chandigarh administration on being informed by the petitioner that substantial number of prisoners from the modern jail, Burail, had jumped parole.
The petitioner had submitted that as per the Punjab government’s policy issued on April 4 last year, life convicts who are convicted for murder are entitled to move an application for their premature release after 10 years of actual imprisonment and 14 years of imprisonment with remissions.
It has been submitted that, however, in a strange move, the state gover nment had prematurely released life convict Gurmeet Singh alias Pinki from the Nabha jail after completion of nine years and seven months of actual imprisonment.
Thereafter, the state government issued a press release on August 18 revealing that life convicts lodged in Nabha jail were entitled to consideration for pre-mature release on completion of nine years of actual imprisonment.