Pardon to convicted cops stirs row : The Tribune India

Pardon to convicted cops stirs row

CHANDIGARH: A number of human rights organisations and group of lawyers today criticised the Punjab government for recommending premature release of several convicted cops who were out on bail or have spent few months in jail even if they were sentenced to life imprisonment.

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16

A number of human rights organisations and group of lawyers today criticised the Punjab government for recommending premature release of several convicted cops who were out on bail or have spent few months in jail even if they were sentenced to life imprisonment.

In a press conference, representatives from various organisations said the government should practice equality for law for all convicts. They argued that on the one side, families were demanding release of convicts languishing in prisons for two to three decades and on the other the government had recommended pardon to convicted cops despite spending few weeks in prison.

The organisations which opposed the government move are Punjab Human Rights Organisation Chairman Justice Ajit Singh Bains, Punjab Documentation & Advocacy Project and Lawyers for Human Rights International, People’s Union for Civil Liberties.

They were referring to cases of 15 cops sent for remission to the Union Government by the Punjab Government on humanitarian grounds.

“The Punjab Government move to secretly release 15 police officers convicted of fake encounters and extra-judicial killings is unlawful, arbitrary and unconstitutional,” they said in a statement.

They disagreed with the state government contention that a “sympathetic view” or leniency should be shown towards those convicted of heinous criminal offences.

They claimed that in majority of cases, the cops have never been dismissed from service and enjoyed all perks, salaries, in many cases pension throughout their career and have been supported by a secret fund even as convicted criminals.

Meanwhile, SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal today condemned the Chief Minister for recommending the premature release of cops guilty of killing innocent Sikh youth in fake encounters.

In a statement, he said, “Is this Capt Amarinder’s gift to the great Sikh community on the eve of the 550th Parkash Purb of Guru Nanak? These cops were convicted by courts on the charges of murder and in many cases they have not even served one-fourth of their sentences.”

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