Change in Parole Rules: HC demands explanation from State Government

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 25 Nov 2017 08:43:13

Legal Correspondent,

Bombay High Court has sought explanation from the State Government by November 28 regarding amendment in Parole Rules based on its circular directing inclusion of parole period in duration of the sentence awarded to convicted prisoners.

The Court passed the order during hearing of a criminal PIL filed by one Rajan Parkar, who claimed that this change was invalid in view of Rule 20 of Maharashtra Prisons (Furlough & Parole) (Amendment) Rules, 2016. He also alleged that this change was made to benefit certain prisoners like Sanjay Dutt, who was released 8 months 16 days prior to completion of his actual period of sentence.

In reply to this allegation, the State Government pointed out to Court through its affidavit that Dutt had earned 256 days of remission on account of good behaviour, discipline, and participation in institutional activities.  The petitioner’s counsel submitted that the State Government had issued the impugned circular on the basis of an order passed by the Nagpur Bench of the High Court in the year 2001, holding that Parole period should be included in computation of the total period of sentence. The same prisoner had challenged this circular in 2015.

It was submitted on behalf of the petitioner that as the said challenge was still pending, the State Government could not have amended the circular. It was prayed that the court should direct the prisoners benefited by this change to come back and complete their respective period of sentence.