Nitish’s order releasing tainted politician challenged in the Supreme Court

NewsNitish’s order releasing tainted politician challenged in the Supreme Court

New Delhi: The wife and batchmates of slain 1985 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer G. Krishnaiah have approached the Supreme Court of India to challenge the Bihar government’s order to prematurely release former member of parliament Anand Mohan Singh.
The petition was filed on Saturday by Uma Krishnaaiah, the wife of the slain IAS officer who was killed by a mob in December 1994.
In its last edition, The Sunday Guardian stated that a petition was going to be filed against the release order in the Supreme Court. Former officers of the 1985 batch IAS have taken the lead and joined resources to assist Uma and fight the order of the Bihar government in court.
Singh was released on Thursday morning from the Saharsa jail after the Nitish Kumar-led Bihar government tweaked the Bihar Prison Manual by dropping the condition of “murder of a public servant on duty” as a case in which an accused would not be eligible for premature release.
On 17 April, the screening committee of the Prison Department reviewed his remission recommendation and recommended his release, which was approved by Kumar, who also holds the Home department.
Advocate on Record Tanya Shree, a product of Symbiosis Law College Pune, told The Sunday Guardian that the case is likely to come up for hearing in the second week of May. The legal team of Krishnaaiah, which includes lawyer Atish Mathur, has raised multiple legal issues in their petition.
The legal team has stated that the sentence of imprisonment for life given to a convict as a substitute for the death sentence must be viewed differently and segregated from the ordinary life imprisonment given as the sentence of first choice.
According to the lawyers, life imprisonment when awarded as a substitute for the death penalty has to be carried out strictly as directed by the court and would be beyond the application of remission, as was the situation in the present case where Singh was first awarded the death sentence by the trial court in October 2007, which on appeal was commuted to “rigorous imprisonment for life” by the High Court of Patna in December 2008.
On appeal, the Supreme Court in its order dated July 2012 confirmed the sentence of the convict Anand Mohan to “rigorous imprisonment for life.”
According to Tanya and Atish, imprisonment for life means the full natural course of life and cannot be mechanically interpreted to be 14 years. It means that imprisonment for life lasts until the last breath.
The order also violates the rules under the Bihar Prison Manual, 2012, which states that convicts whose death sentence has been commuted to life sentence will be eligible for consideration of remission only after completion of 20 years of sentence. In the present case, Singh served only 14 years of incarceration and therefore, he is not eligible to be considered for remission.

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