Vol. 5 Num 816 Tue. September 12, 2006  
Front Page

Release on Parole
Cabinet okays draft law on female convicts

The cabinet yesterday approved the draft of a new law for releasing female convicts on parole.

The bill is likely to be put on the table and passed in the Jatiya Sangsad during the current parliament session, which is likely to be the last one of the present parliament.

The weekly cabinet meeting yesterday also okayed separate draft laws for Metropolitan Police Act for Sylhet and Barisal and amended National Sports Council Act, 1974 to rename The Board of Control for Cricket in Bangladesh to Bangladesh Cricket Board.

The Convicted Women in Jail (Special Privilege) Act, 2006, if enacted, will not be applicable for women convicts who have been awarded death sentence, life term imprisonment and for those charged with sedition, according to sources.

As per the proposed law, a female convict will be eligible for parole after she served half the time of her sentence in prison if the sentence was 10 years or more. If the sentence was between five to below 10 years, 40 percent time have to be served, 25 percent have to be served for three to five years and 20 percent for below three years, Inspector General (IG) Prisons Brigadier Gen Zakir Hasan told The Daily Star yesterday.

"A 10-member national committee headed by a social welfare ministry official will review applications from female convicts who were sentenced for 10 years or more," he added.

The district magistrate will head an 11-member committee to review parole applications from female convicts who were sentenced for less than 10 years.

If an application receives clearance from the committee, the convict will remain under the supervision of a probation officer from the social welfare ministry in her district for two years.

"If the probation officer, after two years, is convinced that the convict is repentant and have changed herself, she will finally be released," the IG Prisons said.

The cabinet approved, on August 13, a major reform to the British-made Jail Code to pave the way for releasing convicts on parole.