Punjab & Haryana High Court granted Parole to prisoner on account of taking care of her old mother
In a criminal writ petition filed in the Punjab & Haryana High Court, the petitioner prayed for quashing/setting aside the impugned order dated 24.04.2020 passed by respondent No.2, whereby the parole case of the petitioner has been rejected, and the petitioner has further sought grant of parole under the provisions of Section 3 of the Punjab Good Conduct Prisoner’s (Temporary Release) Act, 1962, and amended Act, 2018, on the ground to meet his old aged mother. The petitioner Mohd. Sabir is undergoing life imprisonment in the case bearing FIR No.20 dated 03.03.2015 under Sections 302, 307, 3324 IPC, Police Station City-I, Malerkotla, District Sangrur. Also, against the said judgment of conviction and order of sentence, the petitioner had filed CRA-D-463-DB-2017, which is still pending.
Further, it is stated that the petitioner approached respondent No.3-Superintendent, Central Jail, Patiala, for grant of parole in continuation of the appeal the Municipal Council had fully recommended the case of the petitioner for grant of parole. But The District Magistrate, Sangrur, vide letter dated 24.04.2020, finally rejected the case of the petitioner, thereby stating that Senior Superintendent of Police, Sangrur has not recommended the case of the petitioner for release on parole. Another important basis presented by the petitioner in the court is the widowed mother of the petitioner is an aged lady, who is living alone. The brother of the petitioner is married and is living with his family and not taking care of his mother. Therefore, the petitioner is seeking the indulgence of this Court for grant of parole.
Against these submissions of the Petitioner, the respondent has also filed the reply to the appeals stating that the petitioner applied for 8 weeks’ parole on 21.01.2019 before respondent No.3 and the same was forwarded to respondent No.2 for verification. However, respondent No.2-District Magistrate, Sangrur, did not recommend the case of the petitioner for parole and if he recommends the case of the petitioner, only then the petitioner can be released on parole.
After hearing the appeals of both sides the court observed that the petitioner has sought the appeal of parole on the basis of old age widow mother but the same has been denied by the Senior Superintendent of Police on the reasoning that granting parole to the prisoner that there may be danger to State Authority/breach of peace.
Coming to the Punjab Good Conduct Prisoner’s (Temporary Release) Act, 1962, this act was enacted for the temporary release of the prisoners, on account of their conduct, but on certain conditions. This act is a gift to the prisoners from the state on account of their good behaviors and the same can’t be clipped for vague reasons. Also, the court observed that the act talks about the temporary release and that too on the account of good behavior, furthermore he has to behave properly during the period of parole and also not disturb the social peace.
Analyzing the reason stated by Senior Superintendent of Police, Sangrur to cancel the Parole appeal that if the convicts mentioned therein is released on parole, there may be a danger to the State Authority and breach of peace, the court said that though this is a valid reason it needs to be accompanied by any material evidence which was not done by the respondents. Nothing has been specified about the said grounds. As such, the reasons so given by the State are quite vague. Also, the court noted that no such records are present before the court to show that the prisoner did not have bad conduct during the time while his detention in jail, during the pendency of the trial, or during the post-conviction period. Further, nothing is coming on record about the petitioner having misused the grant of parole, at any time.
After making the above observation and listening to the records and evidence of the case the court concluded that the present petition, as such, is hereby allowed and the petitioner is hereby ordered to be released on parole for a period of 6 weeks, subject to his furnishing bail/surety bonds to the satisfaction of releasing Court/Duty Magistrate concerned, within a period of 7 days from today onwards.
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