CHENNAI: The first set of 67 life convicts, lodged in Puzhal central prison here, who had completed 10 years of imprisonment were released today.
The Tamil Nadu government had on June 4 announced the premature release of these convicts to commemorate the birth centenary of late Chief Minister M G Ramachandran.
Prisoners were evaluated for release on factors like the length of their detention (if it was 10 or 20 years) in prisons and if they faced serious ailments.
The decision had been announced by Chief Minister K. Palaniswami during an MGR birth centenary event at Dindigul in December last.
"We received the GOs yesterday in the evening. And we are implementing it in the morning," said a prison official.
During the release, a police official announced that the prisoners, whose sentences have been commuted, had the option of getting employed in petrol stations in different districts - Vellore, Coimbatore, Pudukkottai and Palayamkottai and others.
"Initial salary will be Rs 10,000 per month and there will be annual increments. Each petrol bunk would employ 15 members and those interested can approach us. All arrangements have been made," the official said.
"The government will be making similar announcements in the coming months for others prisoners lodged in jails across the state," an official said.
According to Article 161 of the Constitution, which empowers a Governor to grant pardons and to commute sentences and as per guidelines of the Supreme Court and High Courts on the issue of pre-mature release, two Government Orders were issued, it had said.