Friday, December 8, 2023

State should take holistic approach of premature release of murder convict: Supreme Court

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The Supreme Court has observed that the state should take a holistic approach, while considering the proposal for premature release of a murder convict. 

The Bench comprising Justices A.M. Khanwilkar, Hrishikesh Roy and C.T. Ravikumar on Friday directed the Sentence Review Board of West Bengal to reconsider the case of a man, who has spent 21 years incarceration in a murder case.

Opposition by the victim itself cannot be ground to reject premature release

“Prima facie, we are of the opinion that the basis for rejecting the proposal of the petitioner is unclear, if not unintelligible. That itself cannot be a basis to reject the proposal. Instead, a holistic approach needs to be taken while considering the proposal for premature release in relation to convicts who have suffered incarceration for over 21 years as in this case,”

-observed the Bench. 

The Court was informed by the state government yesterday that due to the opposition on part of the victim’s family, his proposal was rejected. 

The Court further directed the State of West Bengal to reconsider the case of the petitioner by taking into account all aspects of the matter, including the fact that the petitioner, because of his ‘good conduct’ in jail, has been placed in Correctional home for quite some time. 

The Bench has listed the matter for hearing after two months and granted time to sentence review board to take an appropriate decision within six weeks. The matter would now be heard on November 10, 2021. 

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The State had filed its affidavit and placed on record the proceedings of the State Sentence Review Board and thus the Court was able to appreciate the fact that the rejection of premature release was done on the ground that there was an opposition on the part of the victim family. 

Mr. Mangaljeet Mukherjee appearing for the petitioner submitted that the petitioner may be allowed on bail but be restricted from entering the jurisdiction. Justice Khanwilkar very appropriately remarked that either the person is in custody or not. The State was represented by Mr. Nikhil Parikshit who submitted that the representation of the petitioner was considered and rejected.–

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