The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 18, 2018 gave its approval to the proposal to grant special remission to prisoners as part of commemoration of 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
Under the scheme, certain categories of prisoners including women, transgenders and physically disabled, will be set free on satisfying the given criteria.
The prisoners will be released in three phases:
Phase I: October 2, 2018 (Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi)
Phase II: April 10, 2019 (Anniversary of Champaran Satyagraha)
Phase III: October 2, 2019 (Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi)
Following are the categories of prisoners eligible for special remission:
1. Women convicts of 55 years of age and above, who have completed 50 per cent of their actual sentence period.
2. Transgender convicts of 55 years of age and above, who have completed 50 per cent of their actual sentence period.
3. Male convicts of 60 years of age and above, who have completed 50 per cent of their actual sentence period.
4. Physically challenged/disabled convicts with 70 per cent disability and more, who have completed 50 per cent of their actual sentence period.
5. Terminally ill convicts.
6. Convicted prisoners who have completed two-thirds (66 per cent) of their actual sentence period.
The special remission will, however, not be given to prisoners who have been convicted of an offence for which the sentence is death or where the death sentence has been converted to life imprisonment.
The convicts involved in serious and heinous crimes like dowry death, rape, human trafficking and those who have been convicted under POTA, UAPA, TADA, FICN, POCSO Act, money laundering, FEMA, NDPS and Prevention of Corruption Act will also not be eligible for the remission.
• The Union Ministry of Home Affairs will soon issue advice to all States and UTs asking them to process the cases of eligible prisoners.
• The state governments and the UT administrations will be advised to constitute a committee to examine the cases.
• The committee’s recommendations will then be placed before the state governors for consideration and approval under Article 161 of the Constitution.
• After receiving the approval, the prisoners will be released in batches on October 2, 2018, April 10, 2018 and October 2, 2019.
The 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi is a significant occasion and giving special remission to prisoners on this important occasion is considered desirable and befitting the commemoration and would be a homage to the Father of Nation and the humanitarian values Mahatma Gandhi stood for.
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