Inmates of open air jail Nabha in Patiala district have alleged that the Punjab government is only releasing those convicts prematurely on "good conduct" basis who are "financially sound" and have "political influence".
In a complaint submitted to justice Ajay Kumar Mittal of the Punjab and Haryana high court during his visit to Nabha jail on December 6 last year, around 71 inmates had alleged that premature release applications of those inmates who do not have political links were pending with the government for the last even more than two years.
Taking notice of the inmates' complaint, the division bench headed by chief justice Arjan Kumar Sikri issued notice of motion to the Punjab government for submitting its reply before February 14.
The inmates had informed that financially sound convicts and those who have political influence get their cases approved within 15-20 days. However, nobody cares for other prisoners' cases and during the parole period when they request the jail officers for premature release then the authorities express their helplessness and state that inmates can be released only "if they get the case recommended by a politician".
Some of the inmates had stated that since they were behind the bars for the last 10-12 years and didn't cast their votes ever since, no politician would recommend their case for premature release.
Citing an example, the inmates said one Mahinder Singh was released prematurely on November 21, 2011, within two months after his application was forwarded, as he was financially sound as and politically well-connected, but the case of Jaspal Singh, which was forwarded to the state government on July 1, 2010, was still pending.