Hike sentence

Good behavior pays: 45 lifers are released after serving 10 years

Forty-five lifers, including two women, were released early on Thursday for good behavior, a senior official said.

Forty-four of them were incarcerated in the central prison of Parappana Agrahara while one detainee was incarcerated in the open-air prison of Devanahalli. Forty-three were convicted of murder while two had been imprisoned for kidnapping.

The murder convicts were guilty of so-called impulsive killings over family and property matters, the official said on condition of anonymity.

“These prisoners really felt remorse for what they had done,” he said.

While the length of a standard life sentence is 20 years, the convicts were released as they were deemed to have served 14 years. Technically, all 43 convicted had only served 10 years, but the government reduced their sentences by four years under Article 432 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).

The premature release of a prisoner is a tedious process. A commission consisting of the Chief of Prison Service (DGP), Hearings Judge, District Medical Officer and Commissioner of Police assesses a list of convicts eligible for early release on the basis of good behavior.

It then submits a request to the state government, which performs another round of assessments before sending the list to the governor’s office. At the final stage, the governor’s office issues an early release order.

The committee had submitted a list of 51 prisoners but six names were rejected because they were involved in crimes against women and children. A total of 96 convicts have been released across Karnataka, the official added. There were no gangsters, drug dealers or anti-social elements.