Govt relaxes norms, releases 82-year-old murder convict

FrontShanti with her son and daughter-in-law

An 82-year-old murder convict, Shanti, who was languishing in jail for want of two sureties since her mercy petition was accepted in 2009, was finally released from prison Tuesday afternoon.

On a request made by the prison department, the state government relaxed norms and ordered her release on 'humanitarian ground' against a personal bond of Rs 5,000.

A native of Anchaura village in Bulandshahr, Shanti was lodged at Nari Bandi Niketan in Lucknow. This is the first time when the government has ordered release of a prisoner on personal bond.

Last month in October, The Indian Express had written about Shanti who was lying in jail despite pardon.

Several such prisoners, whose mercy petitions have been admitted, are still languishing in jail on account of lack of two sureties. Recently, one of such convicts died in Barabanki jail.

On Tuesday, Shanti's son Vijay Kumar Singh along with his wife Beena Singh reached Nari Bandi Niketan to take her home. They came to Lucknow after getting information from jail officials about her release.

"I met my mother today after almost five years. I had lost hope that my mother would ever return home. I am thankful to the jail staff for taking efforts for her release her and taking care of her. I would try to keep my mother happy", said Vijay, who is a watchman at Sangatpur village in Amritsar.

Shanti was lodged in Nari Bandi Niketan since May 2003 after she was transferred from Muzaffarnagar jail. She was convicted in a murder case of four of a family in the neighbourhood following a property dispute.

Two of her sons were also named in the FIR. On February 15, 2003, a Bulandshahr court awarded death sentence to Shanti, which was commuted to life by the High Court on February 4, 2005.

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