Hyderabad: Case 1: Some 15 years ago, a young man who married the love of his life, who belongs to another religion, was stabbed to death by family members of the girl's family. The accused were arrested and sent to jail. Convicted of the crime, they have now spent 15 years in prison.
Case 2: A businessman was shot dead and his suitcase snatched by some assailants outside his house. Again, it was a planned murder. Those convicted have spent close to 16 years in prison.
Case 3: A man killed his wife and children as he thought they were coming in the way of his affair with another woman. He too has spent several years in jail.
Should these convicts be freed from prison based on their age, time spent in prison and good behaviour while in jail? Or should they continue in jail due to the heinous nature of the offences committed by them?
More than three weeks after Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao took a decision to release convicts on Independence Day, the committee formed to finalise the list of prisoners to be released are racking their brains as a case-by-case review of the heinous crimes and the accused, which includes revisiting the Court judgments — some as old as 15 to 18 years, court observations and facts that surfaced during investigation — is still underway.
Prisoners who are eagerly waiting for remission of their sentences will have to wait a little longer as the process might take close to a month to complete. The number of prisoners who will be set free is likely to be less than 150, and many hopefuls may not find their names in the list.
Sources in the Telangana police told Deccan Chronicle that while the guidelines for releasing prisoners on various criteria, particularly age, number of years spent in prison, good behaviour among others would form the basis for their release, the larger question is whether those convicts who were involved in well-planned murders should be freed, just because they fulfil the other criteria.
While there are little or no chance of such convicts finding their names on the list, officials are most likely to recommend the release of those who, though involved in murders, committed the offence in the spur of the moment and not in a planned manner as in other cases.
There are a number of convicts who were involved in well-planned murders — some killed their family members for money, property, extra-marital affairs or even marrying against the wishes of the family members. All of them had a motive to kill. Then there are those who killed someone following a heated argument or a fight in a fit of rage. More than 50 per cent of the murders are planned offences.
“Judgments in each case, evidence, facts that surfaced during investigation and observation of the courts are being studied in detail before recommending the name of the prisoners for release. A thorough revision of guidelines for release of prisoners is underway which will take some more time,'' sources said.
The DGP, DG, prisons, home secretary, chiefs of State Intelligence wing, CID and law secretary are part of the committee which met recently....