His Majesty pardons 45 prisoners convicted under Tobacco Act
His Majesty the King last Friday granted Royal pardon to 45 prisoners convicted under the Tobacco Control Act, 2010 and the Tobacco Control (Amendment) Act, 2012, giving them the benefit of the Tobacco Control (Amendment) Act, 2014.
The Royal pardon was granted to those prisoners who were not repeat offenders and didn’t have adverse prison records.
Under the earlier Tobacco Control Acts, sale and distribution of or the possession of tobacco or tobacco products, without proof of payment of tax and duty or beyond the permissible limit, were charged under the fourth degree felony with the sentence term ranging from three years to less than five years.
Under the Tobacco Control (Amendment) Act, 2014 the sentences for the same offences is reduced to misdemeanor or petty misdemeanor along with fines equivalent to five times the value of the tobacco products.
As the laws are not applied with retrospective effect for offenders who were already convicted, these prisoners would have to serve their entire sentences if it had not been for His Majesty’s intervention through the Kidu system.