New Delhi, Oct 22 (UNI) Union Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta and Solicitor General(SG) G E Vahanvati today tendered unconditional apology before the Supreme Court for not complying with the directions of the court to file a response to a PIL seeking the release of those lifers who had completed 14 years in jail with unblemished record.
A bench comprising Justices H K Sema and Lokeshwar Singh Panta had earlier directed the senior bureaucrat and the SG to appear personally before the court to explain, why the government was not filing its response on the PIL despite having being granted several opportunities by the court.
''The administration has the power to order premature release of those convicts whose conduct had been satisfactory during their stay in jail. However, even the administration cannot release a lifer unless and until he or she had completed 14 years in detention.'' The Supreme Court was hearing a batch of petitions, some challenging the decision of the former Om Prakash Chautala government to release large number of convicts, including those involved in heinous crimes, while another petition was seeking directions from the government to release all those convicts who were sentenced to life imprisonment but had completed 14 years in jail with unblemished record.
The apex court granted four weeks time to the Centre to file its response.