High Court allows release of open jail prisoner without insisting on surety

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 08 Aug 2017 10:14:23


Legal Correspondent,

Allowing criminal writ petition filed by 39 years old Manik Bapurao Shejal (39), serving life-sentence for committing murder, as inmate of an Open Prison at Morshi in Amravati district, Justice P B Varale and Justice M G Giratkar at the High Court have ordered his release on furlough without insisting on surety, holding that the respondent-authorities should have released the petitioner on furlough without surety.

Upholding the Full Bench decision of the High Court in the case – Dipak Sudhakar Wakalekar Vs State of Maharashtra-2011 CrLJ 3263 (FB Bombay HC ), the High Court division Bench adjudicating the case, have held that as per proviso to Rule 6 of the Prisons ( Bombay Furlough and Parole ) Rules, 1959, a convict, confined in an open prison can be released on parole or furlough by the sanctioning authority without surety.

Open prison is minimum security prison, which was conceived to reward good behaviour of inmates, to reduce overcrowding in jails, to provide training in self-reliance etc. The petitioner’s application for furlough was rejected by the DIG (Prison) East Division, Nagpur, allegedly without application of mind, as according to him, Rule 6 provides for furlough only after prisoner’s relative executing surety.

On behalf of the prisoner, his counsel G S Agrawal cited the High Court’s Full Bench decision in the Wakalekar’s case that as per proviso to Rule 6, if prisoner seeking furlough is inmate of open prison, as defined in Clause (b) of Rule -2 of the Maharashtra Open Prison Rules, 1971, he can be granted furlough without surety. Advocate J Y Ghurde represented the State.