Premature release of old age, terminally ill prisoners confined in jails in Pakistan: Cross Cutting Themes and Policy Imperatives
As subject of human rights evolved, it is recognized by different jurisdictions across the globe that confinement of an old age and terminally ill prisoner in prison amidst peculiar settings of jail coupled with lack of health care facilities constitute inhuman and degrading treatment. Simultaneously, these prisoners have become harmless and no risk to public safety and security. On the subject, Pakistan PrisonsRules, 143 and 146 bind prisons authorities to submit the cases of serious illness, old age and infirmity to the government for their premature release, by exercising its power under section 401Cr.P.C, to ‘suspend the execution of sentence or remit the whole or any part of the punishment to which he has been sentenced’.As per available record, the Punjab Provincial Government never exercised this power. Resultantly, old and terminally ill prisoners are not released on compassionate grounds. This research paper attempts to find answer to the question why prisoners are not released on the compassionate ground. By analyzing legal and social complications surrounding premature release of prisoner, the paper concludes with recommendation.
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