Thiruvananthapuram: The Cabinet has given its approval to new regulations governing granting of remission to political and other prisoners.
Taking into consideration the length of the jail term, the reprieve may extend from 15 days to 1 year. However, those political prisoners who have been sentenced to life imprisonment will not be considered for remission of their jail term. At present, no political prisoners are being considered for such amnesty.
As a custom, on occasions such as Republic Day, Independence Day, and State Formation Day, eligible prisoners were being released. The new rules were formulated as part of that exercise.
Official sources said that the new regulations were aimed at preventing ineligible prisoners from getting such a benefit.
Besides political prisoners, those convicted of sexual offences against women and children and involved in narcotic cases were on the list of prisoners who were not eligible for remission till now.
Under the new rules, political prisoners, except those sentenced to life sentence, have been removed from the restrictive list.
With this, political prisoners who have been imprisoned for hatching murder conspiracy, related offences and attempt to murder will become eligible for remission of their sentences.
What the rules say
15 days remission for those sentenced up to three months
Jail term for 3-6 months – remission 1 month
6 months to 1 year jail – 2 months
1-2 years – 3 months
2-5 years – 4 months
5 -10 years – 5-6 months
Prisoners other political detenus undergoing life term may be granted remission of up to a maximum period of 1 year. It is stipulated that they should have undergone 14 years of jail term to become eligible for the pardon.
The guidelines issued by the Home Department in 2018 fixed the duration of pardon at half the length of the jail sentence or up to a maximum of two years.
Under these rules, prisoners undergoing sentences of up to 4 years could be released after 2 years by obtaining a pardon. The list of those eligible for pardon is prepared on a yearly basis in order to prevent such instances.