Maharashtra has no consolidated record of remission to convicts: RTI

Maharashtra government has no record at state-level of convicts who have been granted remission on account of good behaviour, an RTI query has revealed.

Additional Director General (Prisons) Bhushankumar Upadhyay said there are a large number of jails in the state but there is no provision to compile such records on a consolidated basis. However, the records are available at the prison-level.

The revelation comes in the backdrop of Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt's release from Pune's Yerwada Jail in February end, over three months ahead of his prison term, on account of "good conduct".

RTI activist Mansoor Darvesh had filed the query with the Law and Judiciary Department, seeking details of convicts who have secured early release from prison on account of their good conduct in the last five years. He also sought the number of applications that are pending
for remission and the reason for not acting on them.

In response to the query forwarded to the Home Department and then to the office of Additional DG and Inspector General of Prisons, it was stated the Department does not keep records of convicts granted remission.

"The information sought is not compiled and thus not available," the letter received from the office of Additional DG stated.

The letter provided a list of 43 prisons across the state and said necessary information can be obtained from there.

"Is it that the government only keeps records of celebrity prisoners who have been granted remission? Giving a list of 43 prisons and asking an applicant to contact each of them amounts to government shrugging off responsibility (in providing relevant information)," Darvesh said.

Upadhyay said remission is a "very important" and "well-documented activity" of a prison and anybody can simply contact the jail administration and seek details.

"Remission is granted at the level of jail authorities and records are not with the government as there are no provisions of keeping centralised records. But not keeping records does not mean nobody has been granted remission," he told PTI.

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