Odisha constitutes panel for amnesty to prisoners on Gandhi Jayanti

Bhubaneswar: Following Centre’s approval to launch a special amnesty scheme for prisoners on October 2 this year to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the Odisha government has formed a State-level Committee to examine cases for release and remission of prisoners serving sentences.

The State government has appointed Additional Chief Secretary (Home Department) as the Chairman and Principal Secretary (Law department) as the member of the Committee. ADG (Prisons) has also been appointed as the member secretary in the three-member committee.

The panel will examine cases of eligible prisoners and place the recommendations before the Governor for consideration and approval under Article 161 of the Constitution.

After the approval, selected prisoners will either be allowed special remission or released on occasion of the 150th birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation.

Earlier last month, the Union Government had directed all the states to form special committees to process cases of prisoners eligible for mercy.

The government had clarified that while, remission would not be given to convicts serving death sentence and life imprisonment and those with heinous crimes like rape and human trafficking; women, transgender and men above 60 years of age would qualify for amnesty.

Moreover, severely physically disabled convicts will also be eligible for remission/release, the government had stated.