Recommendation seeking release of 6 convicts hanging fire over past 1 year

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SRINAGAR: A recommendation seeking release of six convicts is hanging fire over the past one year due to downgrading of Jammu & Kashmir into a Union Territory.

Highly placed sources told news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that J&K’s Home department on July 31, 2019 constituted two review boards for reviewing the cases of convicts for remission of their sentence.

The review boards were headed by the director general of police and comprised officials from civil administration, jails, judiciary and non- governmental organizations.

“The review boards recommended remission of sentence of six prisoners but their recommendation could not be implemented due to downgrading of J&K into a UT as Lieutenant Governor is not empowered by the Constitution to set convicts free,” they said.

Under the Constitution of India, the President of India and the Governors of the States have powers to grant pardons, reprieves, respites or remissions of punishment or to suspend, remit or commute the sentence.

“The  Lieutenant Governors of Union Territories do not have the  powers to grant pardons, reprieves, respites or remissions of punishment or to suspend, remit or commute the sentence,” an official said.

It is worthwhile to mention that a few convicts were released every year in the erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir on the eve of Republic day as a goodwill gesture by the government.

Before the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir, its Governor was empowered by its own constitution to grant pardon or remit sentence of prisoners.

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