Badal forms committee to resolve cases of Sikh prisoners

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Thursday constituted a high-level committee to ensure timely resolution of pending matters related to Sikh prisoners within the ambit of existing rules and regulations.

Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Thursday constituted a high-level committee to ensure timely resolution of pending matters related to Sikh prisoners within the ambit of existing rules and regulations.

The committee comprises of Additional Chief Secretary (Home), Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, Principal Secretary Jails, Additional Director Generals of Intelligence and Prisons besides four representatives of Sikh organisations.

The committee has been mandated to examine such specific cases meticulously so as to ensure timely release of these prisoners lodged in different jails of Punjab and outside the state, an official release said here.

A decision to this effect was taken by Badal here during the meeting with the representatives of the some Sikh organisations to review the situation arising out of on fast unto death by 80-year-old Sikh activist Surat Singh Khalsa.

Khalsa has been demanding release of some Sikh detainees who are lodged in various jails of the country claiming that they have completed their sentences.

The Chief Minister also assured them the committee would examine on priority each and every case as per the list of 82 cases submitted by the representatives of the Sikh organisations in the meeting.

They were informed in the meeting that the Chief Minister had already personally taken up this issue with the Chief Ministers of the concerned states, the release said.

Badal deputed Additional Chief Secretary (Home) to pursue this matter with these state governments and also asked him to visit these states to ensure timely action as permissible under law.

The representatives also impressed upon the Chief Minister to consider the matter of getting the convicts lodged in other states transferred to Punjab.

Badal assured them that the state government would look into their all requests and issues with required "sensitivity and sympathy." Representatives of the Sikh organisations also requested that the state government should expedite requests for parole wherever it was sought.

Referring to this issue, it was informed to them that the state government has already streamlined the process for the release of prisoners on parole and if any such case of delay comes to their notice, it should be immediately brought to the notice of the concerned authorities.

Raising an another issue by the representatives for the release of undertrials on bail, it was informed to them that under the guidelines of the Supreme Court and with the introduction of a new Section 436 A in the Code of Criminal Procedure, expeditious action for release of such convicts, who have completed half or more of the term for which they were being sentenced, would be taken as prescribed by the Apex Court of India. 

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