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HC asks Kolhapur jail authority to reconsider parole plea

"However, if convicts are never released either on furlough or parole previously, or not released on two previous instances, there was no occasion for them to return within the stipulated time (in the past)," it said. "Such literal interpretation may lead to absurdity," HC said while directing the Kolhapur prison superintendent to decide the applications afresh within two weeks..

PTI | Mumbai | Updated: 16-07-2020 18:53 IST | Created: 16-07-2020 18:53 IST
HC asks Kolhapur jail authority to reconsider parole plea

The Bombay High Court on Thursday directed the authority at the Kolhapur Central Prison in Maharashtra to consider afresh emergency parole pleas of three murder convicts who are serving life sentence. A bench led by Justice S S Shinde was hearing a petition filed by Milind Patil and two others in the light of a state high-power committee's orders about grant of parole to de-congest prisons amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Patil and his co-accused moved the HC after their pleas for emergency parole on the ground of coronavirus were rejected by the prison superintendent. The petition said the Maharashtra government's parole and furlough rules mandate that if an inmate has been granted emergency parole twice in the past and if he or she has duly returned to the prison after the end of parole period, such a person can be granted emergency parole again.

Patil had availed of emergency parole only once since being convicted four years ago, prison authorities contended. He did not qualify under the rule as he had not been granted parole on two occasions, they said.

Of the other two petitioners, one had been granted emergency parole only once and other had never applied for emergency parole in the past, the high court was told. The judges said such interpretation of the rules was absurd.

"The object while granting the emergency parole is to see that overcrowding in prison is reduced. However, at the same time, it is to be ensured that habitual offenders or prisoners who are likely to abscond are deprived of emergency parole," the HC said. "However, if convicts are never released either on furlough or parole previously, or not released on two previous instances, there was no occasion for them to return within the stipulated time (in the past)," it said.

"Such literal interpretation may lead to absurdity," HC said while directing the Kolhapur prison superintendent to decide the applications afresh within two weeks..


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