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  • The Hon’ble Supreme Court (SC or Court),in the case of Sharafat Ali v State of Uttar Pradesh,has allowed a Petition seeking premature release. Setting aside the impugned order of the State Government, the SC remarked that the premature release application must include prior criminal record history, conduct and behaviour of the convict in the jail and if such release would pose danger to the society.
  • The Court further noted that a general observation that the pre mature release may result in resentment on the side of the victimwould essentially govern all criminal offences and this approach would leave the order bereft of an application of mind.
  • The Petitioner was convicted under Section 302 read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) and sentenced to life imprisonment by the Trial Court and the same was affirmed by the Hon’ble High Court (HC) of Allahabad.
  • In July 2021, after serving 17 years, 9 months and 26 days of imprisonment, the Petitioner submitted an application for premature release which was rejected by the State Government basis the report received from the District Magistrate which stated that a pre mature release may cause resentment to the victim’s family and the release might also lead to the possibility of the crime being committed again.
  • Aggrieved, the Petitioner invoked the jurisdiction of the SC under Article 32 for enforcement of his fundamental right guaranteed under Article 21.
  • After hearing both the sides, the Court observed that an application has to be considered on the basis of the policy as it stood on the date when the applicant was convicted of the offence. The Court also observed that the order did not address the relevant considerations bearing upon whether the release of the petitioner would pose a danger to society.
  • The SC held that the Petitioner’s application shall be considered afresh without requiring him to file any fresh application for premature release. The Court also directed to dispose of the application within two months from the date of the instant order after due consideration all relevant facts and circumstances.
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