Granting remission to a convict is the function of the government and not Courts: Supreme Court
The Supreme Court while rejecting a plea by a murder convict for premature
release said that granting remission/premature release of a convict is the function of the government and not courts.
A bench comprising Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud, Justice PS Narasimha and Justice JB Pardiwala, have instructed the competent authority of Gujarat State to consider the request for premature release of the petitioner as per its 1992 policy.
The Court said that the bench believes that policy should be reconsidered by the state.
The Court said that as the grant of premature release is an executive action, the State government is the right authority to reconsider it. It further said that we would direct the competent authority of State government to consider the request for premature release including the ones noted above and the policy which will hold here is the 1992 policy.
The petitioner in the case Hitesh was convicted for murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. In October 2009, his His appeal against conviction was dismissed. Later, one of co-accused was released prematurely in 2017 prompting the petitioner to seek the same.
The petitioner submitted that he had undergone 15.6 years of actual sentence and the same came upto 19 years with remission.
As per the affidavit filed by the State, the main reason of objection by the state for to the premature release was that the petitioner was released on interim bail for three weeks in 2005 but he absconded for 5 years until he was rearrested in 2010.
The Court noted that the petitioner was deprived of four furloughs for his conduct. Court noted that the policy of state as on 1992 facilitates the premature release if 14 years is served and so the premature release is justified and thus reconsidered.
The Chief Justice added that if the law laid down by this court,for determining the premature release is considered then the policy of state will be determinative factor. If the policy is later liberalised that also should be borne in mind.