Is Sidhu going to get benefit of ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ scheme?
Kanwar Inder Singh/ royalpatiala.in
“Senior congress jailed firebrand leader Navjot Singh Sidhu may be a free as a bird on January 26 2023, around four months before his official sentence to expire” said a senior leader on the condition of anonymity.
Speculations are rife in the political, administrative, bureaucratic circles that the government may grant him special remission under the ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav‘ scheme as the Narendra Modi led BJP government had decided to give a special remission to certain categories of prisoners and release them in three phases — on August 15, 2022, (75th Anniversary of Independence) , January 26, 2023, (Republic Day) and August 15, 2023, to commemorate the ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’.
“The authorities may moot a proposal to remit his sentence along with other prisoners jailed in various Punjab jails, in coming days” said an official on the condition of anonymity. When contacted the IG Prisons, Roop Kumar Arora he said “as of now there is no proposal of his release on January 26, 2023 from prisons department. It all depends upon the government to remit his pending sentence or not.”
Recently Priyanka Gandhi has written a letter to Navjot Singh Sidhu hinted that he will be given a bigger responsibility after the sentence, which created furore in the political circles.
As per political pundits, “if Navjot Singh Sidhu sentence is remitted beforehand, the party may take advantage of his stardom during the upcoming “Bharat Jodo Yatra” last leg which is expected to reach in Punjab by the end of January 2023.”
The remission scheme is intended to ensure prison discipline and good conduct on the part of prisoners. Persons involved in some serious crimes, however, will not be eligible for special remission. The categories of prisoners, who have consistently maintained good conduct during their term in prison, will be eligible for the special remission.
Amongst the other categories, male convicts of 60 years of age and above who have completed 50 per cent of their total sentence period (without counting the period of general remission earned) Or a convicted prisoners who have completed two-third (66 per cent) of their total sentence period (without counting the period of general remission earned) are eligible for remission under this category.
As per available information, “the state governments/UT administrations is be advised to constitute a State Level Screening Committee, who will scrutinise all cases keeping in view the prescribed conditions and make its recommendations to the State Government, who will place the recommendations before the Governor for consideration and approval. Cases, where the clearance of the central government is required as per law, will be sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Is Sidhu going to get benefit of ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ scheme? . The MHA had already issued an advisory to all states and UTs asking them to process the cases of eligible prisoners as per the guidelines and timelines and will be advised to release the prisoners after obtaining the necessary approval of the competent authority.