Report No. 39
11. Treatment of persons sentenced to transportation before 1956.-
There was, thus, no statutory obligation imposed on the Government of India or a Local Government to provide any place overseas for the reception of such prisoners. The only place to which they were in fact sent was the Andaman Islands. There were administrative orders of the Government to regulate what prisoners should, and what prisoners should not, be regarded as fit persons for being sent there, and latterly, only such of them as volunteered were sent. As observed by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in a judgment1 of 1944,-
"No doubt, therefore, the sentence [of transportation] has been preserved for its deterrent effect and because, in certain cases, it may be both useful and desirable to send convicts to the Islands, but at the present day transportation is, in truth, but a name given in India to a sentence for life and in a few special cases for a lesser period, just as in England the term imprisonment is applied to all sentences which do not exceed two years and penal servitude to those of three years or upwards. So, in India, a prisoner sentenced to transportation may be sent to the Andamans or may be kept in one of the jails in India appointed for transportation prisoners where he will be dealt with in the same manner as a prisoner sentenced to rigorous imprisonment.".
1. Pandit Kishori Lal v. King Emperor, 1944 LR 72 IA 1: AIR 1945 PC 64.