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Punjab Cabinet gives nod to remit sentence of 5 prisoners; Navjot Singh Sidhu’s name not on list : The Tribune India

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Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3 

The Punjab Cabinet led by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Friday approved an agenda item to allow remittance of sentence of five prisoners, which did not include former PPCC chief Navjot Singh Sidhu, who is lodged in Patiala Jail.

Though the Cabinet today formally remitted the sentence of three prisoners under the Amrit Mahotsav Scheme of the Central Government, the name of Sidhu was not included.

Speculation had been rife over a special remittance for Sidhu since December, when the state Jails department started an exercise to identify prisoners who could be released on January 26, under the scheme. There were some indications that Sidhu would be released while the Jails Department was headed by Harjot Bains. After the Cabinet reshuffle in January, when the Jails Department was taken over by the Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, the speculation began to rife. 

However, after the Jails Department reportedly prepared a case to recommend names of eight prisoners for remittance of sentence under the Amrit Mahotsav Scheme, rumours about Sidhu being included again gained momentum. The Cabinet, however, has cleared the names of just three prisoners for sentence remission in this scheme today. These include Lakhvir Singh (lodged in Central Jail Faridkot); Ravinder Singh (lodged in Central Jail, Amritsar) and Taspreet Singh (lodged in Central Jail, Ludhiana).  

The other two whose pre-mature release has been approved include Anirudh Mandal and Shambhu Mandal, both lodged in Ludhiana jail. The duo have reportedly served their sentence, but their term was extended as they could not deposit the fine imposed on them because of financial constraints.  

Even as the anticipated release of cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu on grounds of special remission has not materialised so far,  the former Punjab minister will be eligible to walk out of jail in April, around a month and a half before he completes his one-year jail term on May 19.


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