2 convicts challenge Guvís rejection of early release plea

Two women convicts, aged 80 and 90, have filed an appeal in the Bombay High Court against the order of Maharashtra Governor K Sankaranarayanan rejecting their plea for early release from prison on account of old age.

The state had recently informed the Bombay High Court that the plea of two women seeking premature release from Kolhapur prison had been rejected by the Governor. The duo then filed an appeal in the High Court. The appeal will come up for hearing before a division bench in due course.

The HC had earlier asked the state to urgently consider the plea of the two. "We are of the view that a grave urgency is involved in the petition considering their age and condition," a bench had observed.

Hausabai Koli, 80, convicted for murdering her daughter-in-law for dowry, has spent over 17 years in jail.

She had pleaded that her daughter and grandson were keen to take her home.

The health report of Koli, prepared by medical officer of Kolhapur prison, recommended her release on the ground that she suffered from age-related illness and that she may not live long.

Champa Kamble, 90, pleaded for release to spend the rest of her life with her near and dear ones.

Advocate Arfan Sait, who was appointed by the HC's legal aid cell, said under the Maharashtra Prison Review of Sentence Rules, 1972, a medical officer can recommend early release of a convict on the ground that he or she is suffering from illness which may aggravate the condition or result in death.

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