Supreme Court Orders Release Of Convicted Prisoner Who Was Not Released Merely On Non-Payment Of Fine
The Supreme Court has recently ordered the release of a convicted prisoner who had not been released merely on the ground that he was unable to pay the fine imposed upon him.
“In peculiar facts and circumstances of the case, we hereby allow the petition and direct the authorities to release the convict”, ordered a Bench of Justice Krishna Murari and Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah.
It was contended that the petitioner has undergone 19 years and 7 months of actual incarceration without remission and 26 & half years with remission. The Court noted that his name finds place in the recommendation made by the committee for release, but the petitioner has not been released merely on the ground that he is unable to pay the fine imposed upon him.
The petitioner placed his reliance upon the judgment passed by the Supreme Court in Aswathy Vinod & Anr. Vs. The State of Kerala & Ors. and Usha Chandran Vs. State of Kerala and Ors.
The Apex Court in Aswathy Vinod & Anr. Vs. The State of Kerala & Ors., in the identical facts and circumstances, had laid down-
“As regards convict Manikantan @ Kochani, the Superintendent of Open Jail and Correctional Home, Nettukaltheri vide letter dated 16.11.2021 has asked him to deposit the fine amount of Rs.8,30,000/- (Rupees Eight Lakh Thirty Thousand Only) as ordered by the First Additional Sessions Judge, Kollam. It cannot be disputed that the sentence of simple imprisonment of 8 years and 4 months in the case of default, as awarded in terms of the stated order passed by the First Additional Sessions Judge, Kollam was to run concurrently. That period having already been undergone by said convict Manikantan @ Kochani, the order of release dated 06.11.2021 issued by the Additional Chief Secretary must come into play with immediate effect and he should be released forthwith doing anything more.”
Accordingly, the Court allowed the Writ Petition and directed for the release of the convict.
Cause Title- KARTHIKA S v. THE STATE OF KERALA & Ors.