High Court declares release of 285 life convicts bad in law
In a judgment that binds the Governor to ensure that the Karnataka Government does not commute sentence of life convicts contrary to the law, the Karnataka High Court on Friday said that approval granted by the Governor for release of 285 convicts, sentenced for life, on August 15, 2006 was bad in law.
“If the Government advice to the Governor to commute sentence is contrary to the Parliamentary mandate, the Governor is not obliged to mechanically give effect to such advice of the Government and exercise pardon,” Justice N. Kumar said in his verdict.
The verdict was on a petition filed by Ramakrishna of Mandya. He had challenged release of Manjunath, who was convicted for murdering petitioner's father in 1998.
The State government released 309 convicts on Independence Day on the occasion of Suvarna Karnataka Year celebration in 2006. Of these, 285 convicts, who were sentenced to life, had served only eight years in prison. The court, while setting aside commutation of Manjunath's sentence, directed the Home Secretary to arrest him without warrant and remand him to undergo remaining sentence.