Mahatma Gandhi Current Affairs

Cabinet approves Special Remission Scheme for prisoners

Union Cabinet has approved to grant Special Remission to Prisoners as part of commemoration of 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi to be observed in 2019. This decision is considered as befitting commemoration and homage to father of nation and humanitarian values Mahatma Gandhi stood for.

Following five categories of prisoners will be considered for special remission

  • Women and Transgender convicts: 55 years of age and above and who have completed 50% of their actual sentence period.
  • Male convicts: 60 years of age and above and who have completed 50% of their actual sentence period.
  • Physically challenged/disabled convicts: They will convicts with 70% disability and more and who have completed 50% of their actual sentence period.
  • Terminally ill convicts.
  • Convicted prisoners who have completed two-third (66%) of their actual sentence period.

In pursuance of this decision, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) will issue advice to all States and UTs asking them to process cases of eligible prisoners based on above five categories.  State Governments will place recommendations of Committee before Governor for consideration and approval under Article 161 of the Constitution. After the approval, prisoners will be released three phases.

In Phase-l, prisoners will be released on 2nd October, 2018 (i.e. on birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi), in Phase-ll prisoners will be released on 10th April 2019 (anniversary of Champaran Satyagrah) and in Phase-Ill on 2nd October 2019 (birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi).

Special remission under this consideration will not be given to prisoners who have been convicted for offence for which sentence is of death or death sentence commuted to life imprisonment; cases of convicts involved in serious and heinous crimes like rape, human trafficking, dowry death and convicted under UAPA, POTA, TADA, FICN, POCSO Act, FEMA, Money Laundering, NDPS, Prevention of Corruption Act, etc.

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President to preside over PM-headed panel on Gandhi 150th birth Anniversary

President Ram Nath Kovind will preside over first meeting of National Committee for Commemoration of 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi in 2019. The committee is headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and has 114 members on board including Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu, former Prime Ministers and Chief Justice of India, Lok Sabha Speaker, members of union cabinet, political party leaders, chief ministers, Gandhians, spiritual gurus and social workers among others.

Background

The birth anniversary of father of the nation will be commemorated from 2nd October, 2019 to 2nd October, 2020. Many events are planned to organised at both national and international level to propagate message of Mahatma Gandhi. In 2018-19 budget proposals, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had earmarked Rs. 150 crore for the celebrations.

Key Facts

The 114-member committee will discuss policies, plans and preparatory activities for commemoration of birth anniversary. Its recommendations will be considered for implementation by government. The Ministry of Culture will be nodal ministry for celebrations. Chief Ministers of different states, leaders of various political parties, Gandhians, spiritual leaders and social workers are expected to attend the meeting.

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