Libertatem Magazine

Supreme Court Directed NALSA To Collect Compliance Reports From States Regarding Pendency of Application for Remission

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Brief Facts 

The accused/Petitioner (Sonadhar) completed the sentence of 14 years in March 2017 and as per Rule 58 of the Chhattisgarh Prison Rules, his case was to be considered for remission. The Superintendent jail should make sure that remedy is available to the detenu. 

However, the case of the petitioner was sent after two and years on 17.09.2019, and even after that, it took one more year for the Home Department of Chhattisgarh to accept the case for remission on 30.09.2020, and finally, the petitioner was released from jail on 02.10.2020. 

The Supreme called upon the State of Chhattisgarh to file an affidavit setting out as to what process they have or propose to initiate to ensure that immediately on completing 14 years of the sentence as per Rules, the Superintendent, Jail had to consider remission within one month from the date of completion of the said sentence. 

The application had to be processed by the Home Department within two or three months, unlike the present case. 

Observation by the Court

Looking into this case and the report of the NALSA finding of which shows that 1649 applications of convicts for premature release pending and 431 did not even apply for premature release, thus, may not be aware of their rights. 

The Court directed NALSA to collect reports from different states through the State Legal Services Authority regarding the pendency of remission applications of convicts. The Court also sought suggestions from the officer of NALSA, assisting the Court in collecting reports from the states, as to how the process of remission of convicts can be streamlined. 

The Court, further, emphasized the role of NALSA to prefer SLPs where it felt that the order deserves to be examined on merits but where the order is not faulty on merits, the focus may shift to make sure that the remedy available to the detenues, more specifically of remission is made available at the earliest. 

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