Govt proposes release of UTPs held for minor crimes
ISLAMABAD: The Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) on Friday proposed to the Supreme Court to release the under trial prisoners (UTPs) accused of minor crimes in view of the contagious coronavirus outbreak in the country.
AGP Khalid Javed Khan has submitted a written proposal to the Supreme Court of Pakistan, whose five-judge larger bench is hearing a petition filed against March 20 order of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) for release of the UTPs.
The AGP said the apex court has been called upon to exercise its power under Articles 184(3) and 187 of the Constitution in dealing with the matters relating to the prisoners in jails all over Pakistan in the wake of the pandemic.
The proposal said the accused persons charged for offences under non-prohibitory clauses or under vagrancy law or offences carrying less than three years’ sentence may be considered for bail.
He said the benefit should not extend in cases involving abuse/violent acts against children and women but persons suffering from ailments or physical or mental disability may be considered.
The AGP also proposed that the benefit should be extended to the UTPs who are 55-year-old or older and than to other male UTPs provided there is no history of past convictions. The benefit should also be extended to all women and juvenile UTPs.
The AGP proposed that bail in these cases may be extended on personal bonds. Some categories of convicted persons may be considered for release by the provincial governments under Section 401 Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). Convicts who have otherwise completed their sentences but remain in jail on account of non-payment of fine/monetary penalty and women/juvenile convicts who have completed 75% of their sentence and have no history of past convictions can be released. “Similarly convicts whose remaining term in jail is six months or less provided that the offence was not that of violence against women or children – and women/juvenile who were sentenced to a term of one year or less might also be bailed out.” – APP