Overview:

India's top court has ruled that prisoners who have served more than ten years in jail should be freed on bond. Justices Abhay S. Oka and Sanjay Kishan Kaul made the ruling. The bench stated that this exercise must be done immediately to prevent a scenario where a criminal serves out the mandatory minimum term.

On Thursday, the supreme court ruled that lifers who have served more than ten years in jail and whose appeals do not appear to be heard anytime soon should be freed on bond unless there are compelling reasons to refuse them such relief.

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The Supreme Court stated that it has to investigate the issue of decongesting the overcrowded jails, which has long been one of the main goals in the case of offenders.

Hearing on the bench Justices Abhay S. Oka and Sanjay Kishan Kaul participated in the argument. The argument was based on the fact that a significant number of prisoners serving life sentences for crimes have been requesting bail based solely on the justification that their appeals have been pending before various high courts for years and that the hearing is nowhere in sight, primarily due to the enormous number of pending cases. The judiciary is overburdened.

Supreme Court orders

According to the judges, the endeavour will be supported by two pillars. Unless there are compelling reasons to refuse them the relief, prisoners who have served more than ten years in prison should, in the first instance, be freed on bond. Find situations where prisoners have been detained for more than 14 years, in which case the file can be forwarded to the government for consideration of an early release within a set time frame, disregarding the status of the prisoners’ appeals.

The top court has allowed the state high courts and other legal service agencies four months to finish the procedure after acquiring the necessary information on prisoners who have served more than 10 and 14 years in prison. The bench stated that this exercise must be done immediately to prevent a scenario in which a criminal serves out the mandatory minimum term, which would qualify him for remission.

The number of cases with ongoing appeals is around 5740, according to the official data. The new regulation, however, can be effectively abused by criminals who help postpone the hearing until they can be granted bail on these grounds.

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