22 Apr 2121

An application cannot be denied simply because the petitioner has not been released on parole or furlough once or twice before - Bombay High Court

Case : Abhijit s/o. Baban Pawar v. State of Maharashtra & others Criminal Writ Petition No. 78 of 2021

Court : Bombay High Court

Bench : Justice S. S. Shinde and Justice Manish Pitale

Decided on : 22 Apr 2121

The Relevant Statutes

Prisons (Bombay Furlough and Parole) Rules, 1959

Brief Facts & Procedural History

1. Mr Talekar, learned Counsel appearing for the petitioner, draws the attention of the High Court of Judicature at Bombay to exhibit ‘L' (page 171) of the compilation of the Writ Petition and contends that the petitioner's application to be released on Covid-19 parole was denied on legally untenable grounds. It is argued that the petitioner's request for release on Covid-19 parole should not have been denied simply because he had not previously been freed on furlough or parole once or twice.

The Issue of the Case

Whether the impugned order dated 25th January 2021 (Exhibit ‘L’) valid?

The Observations of the Court

1. The High Court of Judicature at Bombay observes that the challenged order, it seems that the petitioner's application was denied because he had not been freed once or twice previously.

2. Referring to the case of Kavita w/o. Dilip Baviskar vs. The State of Maharashtra, CRIMINAL WRIT PETITION NO.571 OF 2020 decided on 30th June 2020, decided by the Bombay High Court at its Aurangabad Bench, where it was held that simply because the petitioner was released once and not twice in the past on parole/furlough, it cannot be a ground for rejecting the application for emergency parole.

The Decision Held by the Court

Respondent No.3's impugned order dated January 25, 2021 (Exhibit ‘L') is quashed and set aside. The petitioner has one week from today to file a new application. Respondent No.3 shall examine the aforementioned application as quickly as practicable, but within three weeks of the date of filing, in line with the Prisons (Bombay Furlough and Parole) Rules, 1959, and convey the result to the petitioner. All of the merits-based arguments made in the petition will be debated before the specified authority. The relevant body is not required to deny the application based on the same grounds as the challenged ruling. When assessing the applicant's request, the authorities must examine the current conditions in jail as well as the rapid spread of the Covid-19 virus before making a judgement.

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