Jailed individuals in Gujarat seeking remission have finally some reason to cheer. With the state government sitting on their pleas for eons, the Supreme Court has now asked it to provide a detailed explanation regarding the time frame involved in adjudicating applications filed by incarcerated individuals seeking remission.
The Supreme Court also instructed the state “to furnish information pertaining to the quantity of pending petitions, both at the High Court and Supreme Court levels, seeking premature release.”
This matter has been scheduled for next hearing on November 24. The bench, comprising Justices Abhay S Oka and Pankaj Mithal, presided over a writ petition initiated by a detainee, who sought the evaluation of his remission application.
Notably, the top court had previously reprimanded the state government for its non-compliance with a judicial order in this regard.
Subsequent to the apex court’s admonition, the state, on September 15, 2023, issued an order bestowing permanent remission upon the petitioner. However, the remission was made contingent upon the fulfillment of four specific conditions.
The court, at this stage, has articulated a preliminary perspective on whether the imposition of such conditions is legally permissible.
It was noted that, “prima facie, the court finds that conditions numbered one through three should not have been imposed subsequent to the determination that this case warranted the exercise of the State Government’s authority under Section 432 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. Beyond the question of the State’s competence to impose such conditions, the court has raised the substantial inquiry of whether the grant of remission can be subject to revocation, as outlined in the second condition.”
The court has summoned the state to elucidate whether the imposition of such conditions aligns with established legal principles and whether the government’s policy allows for the inclusion of such conditions.
Furthermore, the court has stipulated that the state must elucidate the customary time frame it follows in deliberating cases related to the bestowal of permanent remission.