President Bidhya Devi Bhandari granted amnesty to 430 convicts on the occasion of Republic Day.

A press statement issued by the Office of the President stated that eligible jailbirds, including Dilli Langwa Limbu, were pardoned as per Section 12 of the Senior Citizens Act, Section 37 of the Criminal Offences (Punishment Determination and Implementation) Act, Section 45 of the Children's Act, Rule 3 of the Criminal Offences (Punishment Determination and Implementation) Rules, and the Supreme Court mandamous order of 3 August 2020, on the recommendation of the Council of Ministers.

The Office of the President today said that this decision would come into effect immediately.

The convicts were also relieved of fine and principal amount to be paid to the state for the crimes they committed, in addition to the jail sentence handed down to them by various courts. Nepal has a tradition of granting amnesty to eligible prisoners to mark major festivals such as Dashain, Tihar, Republic Day, National Democracy Day and Constitution Day.

The government may recommend to the president to waive off the remaining 60 per cent jail term of prisoners, who have been convicted of petty crimes and have already served at least 40 per cent of the sentencing, provided that they have demonstrated good conduct in prison. Similarly, up to 75 per cent the remaining term of jailbirds, who are above 65 years, and have demonstrated good conduct, may be commuted. However, those convicted of heinous crimes, including kidnapping and hostage-taking, rape, child molestation, human trafficking, murder, jailbreak, money laundering, offence against state, war crime, corruption and smuggling of drugs and wildlife body parts are not entitled to presidential amnesty in accordance with the existing laws.

Recently, the Department of Prison Management had forwarded a list of convicts deemed eligible for amnesty to the Ministry of Home Affairs, on the recommendation of the concerned jailers.

A version of this article appears in the print on May 30, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.