The Supreme Court on Monday ordered the Uttar Pradesh government to take a call on remitting 2,228 eligible prisoners within the next three months, The Times of India reported.

A bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justices PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala passed the order after concerns were raised that the state government was adopting a pick-and-choose policy when it comes to the premature release of prisoners, according to Bar and Bench.

“Once there are legal provisions which hold the field, it is not open for the state to adopt an arbitrary yardstick to pick up cases of premature release,” the court said, according to Live Law. “...State must mind that there is a fundamental principle of law that remission is as per the policy which existed during conviction and liberalisation is to be implemented as amended later.”

The bench said that legal provisions should be applied similarly to all prisoners, adding that any arbitrary method by the state is likely to be abused.

The court also issued a set of guidelines to streamline the remission system in prisons in the state.

It said that District Legal Services Authority are responsible to collect information from district and state prisons on convicts eligible for premature release, reported Bar and Bench.

This, the court said, should be submitted to the State Legal Services Authority three times a year – on May 1, August 1, and October 1 – and will be assessed by its chairperson.

“All cases for considering the premature release of prisoners shall be disposed of no later than three months from when the prisoner becomes eligible for premature release,” the court ruled.