Human Rights Activists demanded the Puducherry Government to release the life prisoners who have completed 7 years imprisonment following the Tamilnadu Government.
On 22.06.2010 at 11 am at Puducherry Press Club, Peoples Union for Human Rights (PUHR) Tamilnadu Chapter President Prof A. Marx, Federation for People’s Rights (FPR) Secretary Mr. G. Sugumaran, People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) Puducherry Chapter President Mr. R. Abimannan, Village Panchayat Presidents Coordinating Federation Vice-Convener Mr. G.A. Jagannathan jointly met the press.
In the press conference Prof A. Marx told:
on the occasion of the World Classical Tamil Conference Tamilnadu Government announced to release various categories of 500 life prisoners who have completed 10 years imprisonment. We demand the Puducherry Government to release the life prisoners who have completed 7 years imprisonment following the Tamilnadu Government.
The Tamilnadu Government in the event of Anna Birth day released 472 and 190 life prisoners who have completed 10 years of imprisonment during 2006 and 2007 respectively. The government has also released 1405 and 10 life prisoners who have completed 7 years imprisonment during 2008, and 2009 respectively.
The Puducherry Government from 1999 to 2009 released only 11 life prisoners who have completed 14 years imprisonment in which 8 lodged in Puducherry Central Prison and 3 in Tamilnadu Prisons. In Puducherry Jail out of 78 life prisoners 43 have been serving for more than 7 years.
The Constitution of India Article 72 sanctioned power to the President of India and Article 161 to the State Governors and Section 435 of Criminal Procedure Code to the state Governments to take decision on the pre mature release of life convicts.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in 1999 and 2003 sent a guidelines and procedure to all State Chief Secretaries and Union Territory Administrators to release the life convicts who have completed 7 years imprisonment.
Since, Puducherry is a Union Territory, the power to pre mature release of life convicts is vested with the Central government and the Territorial administration should approach the Centre and take steps to release the life prisoners.
All the life convicts in Puducherry jail are not indulged in murder. But, only a few prisoners have committed the murder crime. We have been pressing the Government for long time to fix cell phone jammer apparatus in the prison campus. The Government never took any action. The police was not willing for this, since they are tracing the crime through the cell phone communication of the prisoners. If the police took stern action, the crime perpetuated from inside the prison can be prevented.
There are lot of norms and procedures for the premature release of the life prisoners. Merely the prisoners who have completed 7 years imprisonment are not released abruptly. The data released by the Tamilnadu Prison IG Shyam Sundar reveals that out of 1405 prisoners released in 2008 in the event of Anna centenary celebration only 7 have returned to jail by involving only in minor crimes. So, the prisoners who have been released from jail will commit crime is unacceptable.
We accept that some organization indulge in illegal activities in the name of Human Rights. But we are not accepting the Tamilnadu Government’s G.O. restraining the organisations to use Human Rights in their organisation names.
We condemn the Tamilnadu police who have arrested the activists pasted posters opposing the World classical Tamil Conference. If there is right to support the conference, there should be right to oppose it also. One should not forget that the right to dissent is one of the fundamental principles of democracy. The Thirunelveli police have taken custody of the persons who have sent sms opposing the conference and they were threatened in the police stations. We demand the Tamilnadu Government to release the detained and arrested persons withdrawing the cases against them.