New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Wednesday sought response of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government and the prison authorities on a public interest litigation (PIL) for immediately holding a meeting of the Sentence Review Board (SRB) to consider the pleas for remission of jail term of prisoners, some of whom are elderly and “languishing” in the Tihar Jail for 20-25 years.
A high court bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C. Hari Shankar issued notice to the Delhi government and the Director General of Prisons seeking their stand on the petition filed by a lawyer who has contended that meetings of the SRB are not held as frequently as they should be.
The petitioner, advocate Sumeet Verma, said any further delay in consideration of the cases of the inmates by the Board would be “absolutely arbitrary and contrary to the constitutional scheme”.
He has said in his plea that the SRB meetings are required to be held every quarter, but in practice they are held only twice or maximum thrice a year and this has been the trend for the past several years.
The petition further said that cases of more than 150 prisoners are due to be reviewed by the Board for premature release, but the Board was yet to meet again after its meeting in December last year.
Mr Verma has said that many of the prisoners languishing in jail for the past 20 to 25 years are not habitual offenders and have been maintaining an overall good conduct.