No mercy releases from jails this year too

No mercy releases from jails this year too
Highlights

Earlier, the State government headed by both TDP and Congress party almost every year asked the prisons department to prepare a list of disciplined and well-behaved prisoners who are eligible for mercy releases. There is a long procedure for mercy releases.

Visakhapatnam: This year too, there are no mercy releases to the disciplined and well-behaved prisoners in the State. The government seems not interested to release the well-behaved prisoners on Independence Day. The TDP government after coming into power in 2014, has not considered mercy release of well-behaved jail birds.

Highlights:

  • Over 400 well-behaved prisoners eagerly waiting for mercy release across the state
  • The state after considering the Supreme Court serious observations maintaining stoic silent on the issue

Though there is pressure from party influential persons, MPs and MLAs for release of some prisoners in the name of discipline, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu setting aside such requests. However, few prisoners were released on health grounds and old age for which an exercise began before the bifurcation of the State and a GO issued in 2015.

The order was implemented on January 26, 2016. Over 400 prisoners, since 2014, have developed hopes on the government and eagerly waiting for mercy release. In Kiran Kumar Reddy tenure in United Andhra Pradesh, the government released 300 prisoners in 2013 which is the last mercy releases in the state. Since 2014, after coming into power, TDP influential persons, MLAs MPs and Ministers have been asking Chandrababu Naidu to consider the mercy release to free some prisoners.

However, with the Supreme Court serious comments against the Kerala government on the same mercy releases, Chandrababu Naidu government is not taking any forward step. Earlier, the State government headed by both TDP and Congress party almost every year asked the prisons department to prepare a list of disciplined and well-behaved prisoners who are eligible for mercy releases. There is a long procedure for mercy releases.

The prison authorities after assessing the prisoners’ behaviour will prepare a list of candidates to the Home Ministry. The Home Ministry again will reassess the recommendations and send a report to the government. The state cabinet is supposed to approve and send it to the Governor for release of those prisoners on mercy.

“There is huge number of eligible prisoners in the jails across the state. We cannot write to the government. On some special occasions, the government will ask us to prepare a list of prisoners who have impressive record. After bifurcation of the state, the present government is not considering the mercy pleas.

There are over 400 well-behaved prisoners eagerly waiting for such releases across the state. On some occasions including Independence Day, Gandhi Jayanti and Republic Day, the prisoners swarm around TV sets hoping to hear about their fate. Earlier, on the same mercy releases, the Supreme Court made serious comments on Kerala government.

Following the apex court observations, officials might have suggested the government to keep silent on the issue.
Hence there is no such exercise in the government," a senior official of Andhra Pradesh Prisons Department said.

By VKL Gayatri

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