By Weindrila Sen-
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has asked the army authorities to take note of the premature release of an Army prisoner within three months. The accused/petitioner havildar Jagtar Singh was put behind the bar after he had injured one and killed two of his colleagues after a row with his colleagues in the context of doing a roll call of the troops, in December 2003. The petitioner, convicted under 64(c) and Section 69 of the Army Act 1950, was awarded capital punishment through a court-martial at the field between 19.02.2005- 27.06.2005. The sentence was confirmed by the Central Government but was later converted into life imprisonment. The sentence was ordered to be carried out in civil prison.
The petitioner was in civil prison in Punjab and according to the jail policy, the prisoner is entitled to get released as per the state policy or instructions. In cases where the conviction is done by a military court or CBI Court or any other special court, the permission from the Centre is mandatory to release such convicts.
The Hon’ble Justice Ritu Bahri, in her order dated 07.08.2020, said that the petitioner had made several calls to release him as he has completed more than 15 years in the civil prison but no response was given by the respondents till date. Justice Bahri said that the matter is disposed of and the lieutenant-general of the Territorial Army Group Headquarters, Western Command is sought to reply to the petitions representations dated 11.11.2017 and 14.02.2019 within three months.