The Punjab and Haryana High Court has recapitulated that parole is a “reformative process” and that an accused cannot be denied from it based on vague assumptions that he might escape or commit offences of similar nature in the future.
The Court has also stated that as per the provisions of 3(2) of Punjab Good Conduct Prisoners (Temporary Release) Rules, 1963, a prisoner cannot be granted release on parole, only if it seems that his release may “endanger the Security of the State” or “the maintenance of public order”. It opined that just an apprehension that the convict is likely to commit a crime while on parole is not an adequate ground to reject temporary release on parole. It stated that, “Mere likelihood of committing crime is not to be taken as apprehension of a threat to the Security of the State or the maintenance of public order.” It is kept to be in mind that the word ‘Security of the State’ and maintenance of ‘public order’ is intended to put a stop to any serious public disorder and that it is not same as maintenance of law and it is significant to know the difference. Not every act leads to disorder in public and any act which may disrupt the balance of the public at large causes an adverse effect in the maintenance of public order.
Referring to the Bansi Lal v. State of Punjab case where the petitioner who was convicted for offences under the NDPS Act was released on parole for meeting his family and aiding his sick wife. The Magistrate had rejected the request but the Court had held otherwise.
In the present case, the Bench of Justice GS Sandhawalia observed that,
“It cannot be disputed that the purpose of release is to make sure that the prisoner as such meets with his family members and the general public. It is a reformative process, whereby a convict is reintroduced to normal life and, thus, by declining the said benefit on an application, which was duly recommended by the Superintendent of Jail, the reasoning given as discussed above, would come within the vice of irrationality and perversity, in spite of the settled position of law.”