Tamil Nadu prisoners over 60 to be free after five years in jail

September 13th, 2008 - 10:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Sep 13 (IANS) In a new gesture, all life-convicts over the age of 60, who have completed five years in prison, have been ordered to be released by the Tamil Nadu government, a senior official said Saturday.”Penal servitude is meant for only those who are a danger to society due to violence. Since senior citizens over the age of 60 years do not pose any danger, those beyond that age and have served five years of a life sentence have been ordered to be released,” R. Nataraj, director general of police (prisons) told IANS Saturday.

In all, 1,405 life-convicts have been ordered to be released on the occasion of the birth centenary celebrations of the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam founder and former chief minister C.N. Annadurai.

All those who have served over seven years without remission will walk out free Sep 15 following an order by state Governor Surjit Singh Barnala.

Of these, 269 are from Coimbatore central prison.

Twenty two of those being released are women, said Nataraj.

“Such magnanimous gestures are certainly not meant for those whose death sentences have been commuted to life or other hardened terrorists who are serving multiple life sentences concurrently,” said Nataraj while answering questions about the event becoming a precedent for releasing people like Nalini - presently serving a life sentence in Vellore prison for her role in assassinating former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.

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