Bangalore: With Governor H R Bhardwaj turning down its requests for the early release of prisoners with ‘good conduct’, the state government is now planning to knock the doors of President of India on the issue. Speaking to reporters here on Monday, Social Welfare and Prisons Minister A Narayanaswamy said that the government would seriously explore the possibility of approaching the President seeking release of prisoners with good conduct.
“Bypassing the Governor though doesn’t look good, we will try to approach the President. The government has rendered helpless on the issue as the power to release prisoners solely lies with either the Governor or the President. We have sent the list of over 100 prisoners, including those who have completed more than 14 years in jail to be released,” Narayanaswamy said. He added that the Governor had been turning down their requests despite getting whatever clarifications he had asked for.
However, a Supreme Court advocate Brijesh Kalappa differs on the Minister’s stand. “The government should persuade the Governor instead of making it an issue. The Supreme Court has on several occasions held that it was the Governor who has to take a final call. So there is no point in blaming the Governor,” said Kalappa. On whether the government can bypass Governor and approach the President, he said, “Of course it can. But I don’t think such a step is encouraged.”
The state government had adopted the practice to release prisoners with good conduct on Independence Day and Republic Day. However, H R Bharadwaj has put brakes on it ever since he has assumed office.