Essay on “Good time” Laws in India

It must also be noted that reduction in the term of sentence under good-time laws is invariably granted to almost all inmates as a matter of course therefore, its significance seems to have been lost in the present penal system. Any misconduct on the part of inmate inside the prison may, however, entail certain reduction in his good time allowance.

The system of allowing prisoners the benefit of good time allowance is prevalent in India ever since the British rule and it has undoubtedly proved a successful measure insofar as maintenance of discipline inside the prison is concerned.

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The “honour system” which implies associating deserving inmates with the prison administration has acted as an efficient substitute for the system of good time allowance. The provisions relating to these curtailments in the term of prisoner’s sentence are contained in the Prison Act and Jail Manuals of the States.

It must be stated that executive clemency, good conduct laws, holiday benefits, amnesty and other curtailments in the prisoner’s sentence are directed as a part of reformative techniques of Prisonisation but its extensive use over the years has an adverse impact on the judicial determination of the appropriate punishment for a specific offence.

With the result, there is no correlation between the Judge’s sentence and the actual period of imprisonment in jail which is generally much less than the awarded sentence. In other words, increasing use of the discretionary powers of prison management and correctional authorities tend to restrict the powers of the sentencing courts.