India will grant special remission to certain categories of prisoners such as women in the current year and 2023 to mark the 75th year of its independence.
A scheme to this effect was approved by the cabinet on Tuesday, a senior government official told ET. These prisoners would be released in three phases – August 15, 2022, January 26, 2023, and August 15, 2023.
The remission scheme is intended to ensure prison discipline and good conduct on the part of prisoners with the prospect of early release from prison as an incentive, said another person familiar with the move.
Eight categories of prisoners who have consistently maintained good conduct during their term in prison will be eligible for special remission, including women and transgender convicts of 50 years of age and above, who have completed 50% of their total sentence period.
Male convicts of 60 years of age and above, who have completed 50% of their total sentence period, would also be eligible under the scheme. Physically challenged or disabled convicts with 70% disability and more, who have completed 50% of their total sentence period, and terminally ill convicts who have completed two-third (66%) of their total sentence period would be considered under the scheme, subject to medical board’s certification.
Poor or indigent prisoners who have completed their sentence but are still in jail due to non-payment of fine imposed on them will also be eligible under the scheme whereby their fines will be waived off, one of the sources said. State governments will have to verify the legitimacy of the indigent and economic condition of such prisoners, by following appropriate measures and procedures.
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