Four common myths about Sikh political prisoners
1. It is under the jurisdiction of the Central Government to release prisoners
Cases of Hardeep Singh, Baaj Singh, Swarn Singh and Subeg Singh are pending State government decision. Punjab and Haryana High court had asked the government to “consider” these cases for release, however the decision is pending in Chief Minister’s office. Please see prisoners page for details.
2. Pending Supreme Court decision
Although the Supreme Court has instructed State Governments to not remit sentences, this doesn’t apply to parole (temp or permanent). Moreover cases of 8 senior citizens don’t fall under this category. Please see prisoners page to see complete list of actions that can be taken for release of prisoners.
3. State Governments cannot release prisoners prematurely
Typical case of Gurmeet Singh Pinki who was serving “life sentence” was released by Punjab government in 7 years (day and night counted). Additionally, Punjab Government released senior citizens in 1999 during 300 years celebrations of Khalsa’s birth.
4. Life sentence is sentence till death
Typically it is 10 years (20 years with day and night counted), 14 years or 16 years in some cases. Nowadays, life sentence is awarded as “sentence till death”. Jagtar Singh Hawara is reportedly first life sentence among the list of 82 with such statement in decision. Again, in the case of Pinky, his life imprisonment ended after 7 years.