GUWAHATI, Aug 31 - Dispur has decided to facilitate the release of about 245 life convicts languishing in different jails in Assam. It has also constituted a State Level Committee on Remission (SLCR) to vet the proposals for releasing these prison inmates, who have spent 14 years or more in the jail.
This comes almost a year after the Supreme Court had restored the discretion of the State Governments to release life convicts, although it added some fresh riders that are to be considered in this respect.
The Committee, headed by Additional Chief Secretary (Home) TY Das, has been constituted to examine the proposals put up as per an office memorandum of the Home and Political department, official sources told The Assam Tribune.
Majority of these life convicts are from the six central jails located in Guwahati, Nagaon, Tezpur, Jorhat, Dibrugarh and Silchar. Some of these convicts have even spent nearly 20 years and awaiting release since the last four years.
When contacted, Home Commissioner LS Changsan affirmed that about 245 prison inmates would be covered initially by the committee, which plans to sit shortly.
�We have verified most of their records at the office level and the data has been simplified into a comprehensive tabular format for analysis and perusal by the committee,� Changsan said, adding that the committee after vetting the proposals would send the recommendations and considered views to the Chief Minister, who also holds the Home portfolio.
The reports of the District Magistrate, Additional Director General of Police (Prisons), Superintendent of Police, convicting/confirming court, superintendents of the respective jails will also be considered by the committee before giving a go-ahead to the release.
�In addition, aspects like period in prison beyond term, age, terminal illness and conduct, too, will be looked into,� Changsan added.
Meanwhile, sources stated that the State Government has refrained from recommending release of any life convicts since 2012. The Supreme Court order that put an embargo on such releases by the State Government added to the delay.
The apex court�s order came after the Tamil Nadu Government decided to release the life convicts of the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. However, the Supreme Court later restored the State Government�s discretion with some riders.
�The situation was getting dicey. It is good that the decision has been made finally,� a senior official of the Prisons Department said.