CHANDIGARH, Punjab—Justice RS Sodhi (retd) has maintained that notwithstanding stay on state’s right to release the prisoners ruled by Supreme Court, state governments could move the apex court to present their case with arguments and thus they could ensure release of respective prisoners.
Justice Sodhi said that Punjab deputy CM Sukhbir Badal’s statement lacked logic wherein he said that they could not do anything to ensure release of Sikh prisoners due to the ruling of Supreme court.
He referred that some time ago, Gurmit Pinki and DSP Jaspal Singh were released prematurely just after eight years and 20 months respectively. He said that under section 72 of the constitution, union government had the right to commute or end the imprison term of a prisoner on the basis of his character, illness, old age etc. Same right has been provided to the states by the constitution under section 161.
“Those prisoners, who have completed 20 years or more of their terms, need not any commutation for release,” he said. Importantly, he said that on July 9, 2014, the Supreme court ruled stay on the right of state government but not on that of union government. Actually he indicated that union government could release the prisoners despite court stay on state’s right.
Meanwhile, noted lawyer Jaspal Singh Manjhpur has also stated that despite the decision of the apex court, Punjab government could resolve the long pending sensitive issue on political level. He suggested that the state government could approach union government and pressurize it to release the Sikh political prisoners.
He alleged that the Punjab government has never been sincere in dealing with this issue. Even, it has never taken the services of any senior lawyer to strongly put up the case before the court, he alleged. Advocate HS Phoolka has also lashed out at the government for dealing the issue with loose hands on judicial level.