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Supreme Court seeks UP government’s response on releasing prisoners aged 80 and above

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The Supreme Court has directed the Uttar Pradesh government to consider framing a policy for premature release of all accused who are 80 years old or above and convicted after a long-drawn trial.

The bench of Chief Justice N.V. Ramana, Justice Surya Kant and Justice Hima Kohli was hearing an appeal filed by 80-year-old Kedar Yadav against an order of the Allahabad High Court, which had upheld the order of the Sessions Court and sentenced him.

Advocate-on-Record P.V. Yogeswaran, representing Yadav, told the Bench that the incident happened in 1985, but the final order was passed by the Allahabad High Court in 2019.

The Apex Court, taking into account the urgency in the matter, directed the registry to list the matter immediately.

The lawyers representing Yadav include Advocates Ashish Kumar Upadhyay, Advocate Jaiyesh Bakshi, Advocate Vivek Tripathi, Advocates Y. Lokesh, V. Sibi Kargil, Anubhav Chaturvedi, Advocate Pankaj Agarwal, Advocate Bhupender Singh, Advocate Indira Bhakar and Advocate NBV Srinivasa Reddy. 

On the last date of hearing on December 3 last year, the Supreme Court had issued notice to the state of Uttar Pradesh on the issue whether the cases of those prisoners serving life sentence, which were required to be considered for premature release during the term of the earlier policy of August 1, 2018, but were not considered would yet, be governed only by the new policy of July 28, 2021.

Earlier on September 7, 2021, a Bench of the Apex Court, comprising Justices Indira Banerjee and Justice J.K. Maheshwari, had ordered premature release of 97 convicts serving life imprisonment in Agra and Varanasi central jails in Uttar Pradesh for more than 20 years.

The court, while issuing notice to the state government, noted that the prisoners were not released, despite being entitled to premature release under the August 1, 2018 policy of UP government.

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