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PRE-MATURE RELEASE POLICY OF PRISONERS IN PUNJAB AND HARYANA

The concept of pre-mature release of the convicted person is based on reformation, rehabilitation and reintegration of the prisoner back into the society on the basis of their behavior in prison. Release of such person varies from case-to-case which also takes into account the safety of the victim, society and the convicted person. Pre-mature release procedure contains evaluation of the impact of improvement programs on the convict prisoners and allows them to recommence their normal life in the society.


Premature release is a discretionary power vested in the appropriate government, the Governor under Section 432 of the Code of Criminal procedure, 1973 and the President under Articles 161 and 72 of the Constitution of India. Since ‘Prisons’ are subject of the State under Entry 4 of List II of the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution, the rules governing the process of premature release are framed by the States. According to the Model Prison Manual 2016 there are four different types of premature release:

i)                    Pre-mature release by commutation of sentence of life convict and other convict under Section 433 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Cr.P.C) by the State Government.

ii)                  Pre-mature release by remitting term sentence of a prisoner under Section 432 of the Cr.P.C by the State Government.

iii)                Pre-mature release by order of the Head of the State passed while exercising power under Article 72 or Article 161 of the Constitution of India, as the case may be.

iv)                Pre-mature release under any special law enacted by the State providing for release on probation of good conduct of prisoners after they have completed a part of the sentence.


Concept of premature release of a life convict person in Punjab and Haryana deviate at many aspects. On 4th April, 2013 a policy regarding pre-mature release of life convicts under Article 161 of the Indian Constitution and Section 432, 433 and 433-A of Cr.P.C 1973 was introduced by the Department of home affairs and justice of Punjab government. According to this policy the minimum period of imprisonment to be undergone before consideration of application for exercise of powers of the government under Article 161 of the Indian Constitution and Section 432, 433 and 433-A of Cr.P.C 1973 are listed under:


UNDER SECTION 432,433 AND 433-A OF CR.P.C 1973:-

 

A

B

C

D

E



 

For convicts whose death sentence has been commuted to life imprisonment

Those convicted for murder or for heinous crime in which life imprisonment is one of the punishment

Those convicted for murder but not for heinous crime in which life imprisonment is one of the punishment

Those convicted for heinous crime other than murder and in which life imprisonment is one of the punishment

Other life convicts

 

Actual Imprisonment

Imprisonment with remissions

Actual Imprisonment

Imprisonment with remissions

Imprisonment with remissions

Actual Imprisonment

Actual Imprisonment

Imprisonment with remissions

Actual Imprisonment

Imprisonment with remissions

Adult

14

20

14

20

20

14

10

14

8 ½

14

Female/ Minor

14

20

14

20

20

14

8

12

6

10

 

UNDER ARTICLE 161 OF THE INDIAN CONSTITUTION:-

 

A

B

C

D

E

 

For convicts whose death sentence has been commuted to life imprisonment

Those convicted for murder or for heinous crime in which life imprisonment is one of the punishment

Those convicted for murder but not for heinous crime in which life imprisonment is one of the punishment

Those convicted for heinous crime other than murder and in which life imprisonment is one of the punishment

 

 

Other life convicts

 

Actual Imprisonment

Imprisonment with remissions

Actual Imprisonment

Imprisonment with remissions

Actual Imprisonment

Imprisonment with remissions

Actual Imprisonment

Imprisonment with remissions

Actual Imprisonment

Imprisonment with remissions

Adult

14

20

12

18

10

14

10

14

8 ½

14

Female/ Minor

10

14

8

12

8

12

8

12

6

10

Prisoners of 80 years or above

7

10

6

9

5

8

6

9

5

8

 

The Haryana government on 13th August 2008 through its Jails and Judicial Department released a formal notification regarding the rules prescribed under The Haryana Good Conduct Prisoners (TEMPORARY RELEASE) act, 1988, which are mentioned below:-

 

A

B

C

 

Convicts whose death sentence has been commuted to life imprisonment and convicts who have been imprisoned for life having committed heinous crime

Convicts who have been imprisoned for life having committed any crime which is defined under IPC and/or NDPS act as punishable with death sentence

Convicts who have been imprisoned for life having committed a crime which is defined under IPC as punishable with life imprisonment but not with death sentence

 

Actual Imprisonment

Imprisonment with remissions

Actual Imprisonment

Imprisonment with remissions

Actual Imprisonment

Imprisonment with remissions

Years

20

25

14

20

10

14

 

In Haryana, the Convicts whose death sentence has been commuted to life imprisonment and convicts who have been imprisoned for life having committed heinous crime, their cases for pre-mature release may be considered after completion of 20 years of actual sentence and 25 years of total sentence with remission, where as in Punjab the actual sentence should be 14 years and total sentence should be 20 years including remission. Both the states have same policy in cases of murder i.e. the life convict should complete 14 years of the actual sentence and 20 years of total imprisonment including remission. In Punjab the females and minors life convicts are given relaxation of 2 years in the offences for which the death is not a punishment.


The Hon'ble Chief Minister of Haryana had announced on 25th January, 1988 at Central Jail, Hissar that in future pre-mature release of life convicts will be considered in case of minors and Females after completion of 6 years sentence and 10 years including remissions. In case of male adult convicts the premature release cases will be considered after 8 ½ years of actual sentence and 14 years including remissions. Before 2008, minors and females were given 2 years of relaxation in actual sentence and 4 years of relaxation in remission period as compared to adults for the crimes which are not heinous. However, after 2008 every convict is treated equally in the matters of pre-mature release. Before 2002, the application for pre-mature release of the convict whose death sentence has been commuted to life imprisonment and who have been imprisoned for life having committed heinous crime may be considered after completion of 14 years of actual sentence and 20 years of total sentence including remission. After 2002, the actual sentence should be 20 years and 25 years of total sentence including remission.


Punjab government from time to time introduced 5 pre-mature release policies. From 1991 to 2021, actual imprisonment and remission period has been unaltered. In the policy dated 25th August, 2021, Department of Jails of Punjab Government mentioned that the State Government Remission to be granted by the State Government from time to time in calendar year shall not exceed for a period of 1 year in case of the prisoners sentenced for imprisonment for more than 10 years including prisoners sentenced to imprisonment for life. If a prisoner is on parole, the remission shall be granted only if the prisoner surrenders in the concerned jail on the due date of return or before the expiry of parole. In the policy of 2013, the Department of Home Affairs and justice of the Punjab Government added new category of the convicts who shall not be granted any remission, special remission or pardon or any kind of such relief and shall not be released pre-maturely for any reason. Which are:-

1.      Prisoners convicted under section 376, 376-A, 376-B, 376-C, 376-D, and 377 of IPC or and other offence under any law for the time being in force relating to sexual offences involving Girls/women.

2.      Prisoners convicted under NDPS act will not be granted any kind of remission notwithstanding the date of conviction meaning thereby whether such conviction was before the notification of this policy or after the notification of this policy.

 

 

NOTES:

HEINOUS CRIMES IN HARYANA:-

1.      Murder with rape/unnatural offences.

2.      Murder with intention to collect ransom/robbery/dacoity/kidnaping/abduction.

3.      Murder of more than 2 persons.

4.      Persons convicted for second time for murder.

5.      Sedition.

6.      Murder while undergoing life sentence.

7.      Murder with offence under TADA Act, 1987.

8.      Murder of a child under the age of 14 years.

9.      Convicts who cannot for some definite reasons be pre-maturely released without danger to public order and safety.

10.  Any other crime that the State Level Committee considers to be ‘heinous’ for reasons to be recorded in writing.

 

HEINOUS CRIMES IN PUNJAB:-

1.      Murder with wrongful confinement for extortion.

2.      Murder with rape.

3.      Dacoity with murder.

4.      Offences under section 302 of IPC along with the offences under the Terrorist and the Disruptive activities (Prevention Act, 1987).

5.      Offences under section 302 of IPC along with the offences under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention Act, 1967).

6.      Offences under section 302 of IPC where murder has been committed in connection with a dispute over dowry and this is indicated in the judgement of the trial court.

7.      Offence under section 302 of IPC where the victim is a child under the age of 14 years.

8.      Any conviction under section 120-B of the IPC in connection with any of the above mentioned offences.

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