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Thread: Rape of law: Convicts walk free in Punjab

  1. #1
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    Rape of law: Convicts walk free in Punjab


    As reported by Aditi Tandon on tribuneindia.com on 5 March 2008:
    The Tribune, Chandigarh, India - Main News

    Rape of law: Convicts walk free in Punjab

    At a time when voices seeking death penalty for rape are getting stronger, Punjab is remitting the sentences of those convicted for the heinous offence. If that’s not shocking enough, picture this - rape convicts in the state have been walking free within days/months of being sentenced for the crime, sometimes within one day also.Among them is Surinder Singh, a rape convict lodged at the Hoshiarpur district jail, released on August 23 last year. The irony - he was sentenced to 10-year rigorous imprisonment for the crime on August 22 -just a day before he was released under the remission of sentence granted by the state government on Baisakhi.

    He is not the lone beneficiary of the government’s policy of remission of sentence, which holds rape convicts eligible for the grant of remission. Nine others in his league were set free on similar grounds from the Hoshiarpur jail alone; another 11 rape convicts from this jail will be released at different dates from 2008 to 2014, their sentences already remitted.

    Ironically, these releases are becoming possible because the offence involved is rape alone - sans murder. The remission of sentence orders issued by the government - copies of which are with The Tribune - show that only those convicted for culpable homicide (murder) along with rape are ineligible for the remission of sentence, as clarified again in the April 11, 2007, remission order of the government. It lists seven categories of offences on which the benefit of remission of sentence is not applicable. Rape does not figure in the list. Nor does murder except when the victim is a child below 14 years or the murder is double and involves extreme bestiality.

    Strange it is that criminals convicted for rape can go free only because rape has not been followed by culpable homicide. Over the past five years, several rape convicts have been liberated before they could atone for their crimes, whose average trial takes three to four years.

    A Tribune analysis of information procured under the RTI Act from different jails of Punjab by H.C. Arora shows that 10 rape convicts from the Hoshiarpur jail have been liberated in a “dream time” of a few days in the past five years; 11 are in line for release, their sentences already remitted.

    In most cases, the sentence of punishment is seven or 10 years’ rigorous imprisonment, but convicts like Jasvir Kumar have simply got lucky. He was out of jail within 25 days of being sentenced for rape. This year, three rape convicts have already gone free -Mohinder Pal, sentenced on January 20, 2006, was released from jail on February 1 this year; Bhivishan Paswan, sentenced on February 7, 2007, was out on January 4 this year; another rape convict Sukhwinder Singh was sentenced on September 3 and freed this year on January 25.

    A remission order may again be round the corner, on Baisakhi. For the record - Punjab released rape (and murder) convicts under seven remission orders issued by the Governor over five years. In 2005, two such orders were issued on June 15 and November 15.

    Dates and occasions of other remission orders are - August 14, 2002 and 2003; November 15, 2005 (birth day of Guru Nanak); September 21 2004 (quincentenary birth celebrations of Guru Angad Dev); June 15, 2005 (martyrdom day of Guru Arjun Dev); August 14, 2006, and April 11, 2007 (Baisakhi).





  2. Re: Rape of law: Convicts walk free in Punjab


    Dear Karira Sir,
    What you have unearthed is very astonishing. I feel such cases are very sensitive Philosophy behind such move is perhaps to create deterence among rapist not to comit murder after raping the victim It is not my case that remssion of setntence of rapist is in order. According to me age/profession of rapist should be taken into account before remission of sentence of rape convict

  3. Re: Rape of law: Convicts walk free in Punjab


    This is shocking!!
    Great work Karira
    RTI India Network Staff Member

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    Re: Rape of law: Convicts walk free in Punjab



    As reported by Raghav Ohri in expressindia.com on 8 March 2008:
    Hoshiarpur jail violating rules on remission to dowry death convicts - Latest News - Saturday , March 08, 2008 at 01:23:06

    Hoshiarpur jail violating rules on remission to dowry death convicts


    While the Punjab Government, in its instructions from time to time, has been directing jail officials not to grant remission to persons held guilty on charges of dowry death, the authorities of District Jail, Hoshiarpur, have been blissfully violating the instructions.

    In reply to information sought under the Right to Information (RTI) Act by advocate H C Arora of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the authorities of District Jail, Hoshiarpur, have admitted that they have been releasing such convicts prematurely. In one such instance, one Jasvir Kumar, resident of Mehla Wali village, Sadar Hoshiarpur, who was convicted and sentenced to five years for a dowry death under Section 304-B on December 12, 2003, was released. He was granted remission for a period of 15 months and 20 days and was prematurely released on January 6, 2004. Another prisoner, Swaran Singh, who was convicted on November 19, 2005 and sentenced to seven years, was granted remission for a period of five months and 28 days and is due to be released on January 25, 2010. His wife, Pritam Kaur, who was party to the heinous crime and who was convicted on the same date for seven years, has also got the benefit of remission for a period of five months and four days, and is due to be released on February 23, 2011.

    “Grant of remissions to prisoners is a serious matter. The Jail Superintendents can’t take it casually. A prisoner once released prematurely by granting remission cannot possibly be brought back to jail,” said Arora.

    A circular dated April 11, 2007 issued by the Department of Home Affairs, Government of Punjab, categorically asserts that “these remissions are not admissible in cases of offence under Section 304 (b) of the Indian Penal Code, ie, a dowry death”. Similar is the phraseology used in all the previous six circulars issued during the last five years for granting remissions to prisoners on various occasions.

    The Superintendent of Central Jail, Gurdaspur, says assertively in response to a query raised by Arora, through the RTI application, that “All the seven convicts lodged in this jail and convicted of offence under Section 304-B are undergoing their imprisonment as they have not been granted government remission.”

    The Superintendent, District Jail, Nabha, said during the last five years, no prisoner convicted under Section 304-B had been prematurely released. However, District Jail, Hoshiarpur, appears to have different rules.

  5. Re: Rape of law: Convicts walk free in Punjab


    Only alternative available under this circumstance is to file PIL for issue of quo warranto to rearrest convicts granted unauthorised remission and released and the Superindent Distict Jai,Hoshiapur should be held accountable in the said writ petition

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    Re: Rape of law: Convicts walk free in Punjab


    prakashfsi,

    It seems that someone read your post !

    As reported on thestatesman.net on 12 March 2008:
    The Statesman

    PIL against rape convicts’ remission

    Chandigarh, March 11: Taking up a petition filed in public interest for quashing instructions for the grant of remission to rape convicts, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court comprising Chief Justice Mr Vijender Jain and Mr Justice Kanwaljit Singh Ahluwalia today issued a notice of motion to the state of Punjab for 19 May.

    In his petition filed on the basis of information received under the RTI Act from the superintendent of the Hoshiarpur District Jail, advocate Mr HC Arora had contended as many as 10 rape convicts had been prematurely released from that jail following the grant of remissions by the state from time to time. Certain convicts did not even undergo half the sentence awarded to them as they were granted remission. Besides, 11 more rape convicts had been granted remission from time to time, but were still in jails.

    The petitioner claimed a rape convict, Surinder Singh, sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment, was released the next day after availing of all sorts of remissions.

  7. Re: Rape of law: Convicts walk free in Punjab


    Dear Karira Sir,
    What a wornderful new you have reported. Thanks



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