To decongest prisons amid Covid-19, Bengal to release 73 life convicts | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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To decongest prisons amid Covid-19, Bengal to release 73 life convicts

Aug 12, 2021 06:46 PM IST

The West Bengal government’s sentence review board recommended the release of these life convicts on humanitarian grounds considering their age and their conduct.

The West Bengal government has decided to release 73 life convicts from various prisons across the state to decongest correctional homes amid the Covid-19 health crisis in the eastern state.

The West Bengal government will release 73 life convicts from prisons across the state to decongest correctional homes amid the Covid-19 pandemic. (SHUTTERSTOCK.)
The West Bengal government will release 73 life convicts from prisons across the state to decongest correctional homes amid the Covid-19 pandemic. (SHUTTERSTOCK.)

Earlier in May, taking note of the rising Covid-19 cases in the country, the Supreme Court had passed directions for decongestion of prisons and ordered the release of all those prisoners who were granted bail or parole last year in view of the pandemic.

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“Earlier in August, we had decided to release 63 convicts, including two women. On Thursday, we decided to release another 73 life convicts, including seven women,” said Mamata Banerjee, chief minister of West Bengal.

The male convicts are all aged above 60 years; while the female convicts are aged above 55 years.

“There was a need to decongest the prisons because of the prevailing Covid-19 situation. Section 432 of the CrPC empowers the state government to consider the premature release of life convicts who have already served 14 years in jails,” a senior official of the state government had earlier said.

The state sentence review board recommended the release of these life convicts on humanitarian grounds considering their age and their conduct.

At present there are 60 correctional homes in the state, which include seven central correctional homes, five special correctional homes and one women’s correctional home among others.

“While the total capacity of our correctional homes is around 21,500 there are around 23,000 – 24,000 in jails across the state,” said an official of the jail department while adding that the 63 convicts would be released once the necessary formalities are completed.

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