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Releasing convicts on parole necessary for a return to society: HC

01:58 PM Oct 21, 2021 | Urvi Mahajani

While releasing a convict on parole (temporary release of a prisoner before the expiry of a sentence), the Bombay High Court has said that releasing convicts on parole is necessary for their return to society as productive and responsible citizens.

“Such a release, inter alia, affords opportunity to the prisoner to assimilate with his family and the changed surrounding, after release from prison. The society also has an abiding interest in ensuring that a prisoner returned to the society as a productive and responsible citizen,” observed a division bench of justices SS Shinde and NJ Jamadar recently.

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The HC was hearing an appeal filed by one Anilkumar Sharma who was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2005 in a murder case.

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Sharma approached the HC after the Additional Director General of Police and Inspector General, Prison and Correctional Services, Pune, rejected his parole application in March this year.

Additional public prosecutor VB Konde-Deshmukh said that the prison authorities rejected his parole application claiming that he had overstayed his parole leave on earlier two occasions. In 2011 and 2013, he overstayed his parole by 108 and 383 days, respectively.

Besides, during the said period of overstay, a crime was registered against him with the Bangur Nagar Police Station, Thane, for trespassing and theft, added Konde-Deshmukh.

Sharma’s advocate, Prosper D’Souza, argued that it was more than eight years that he had overstayed his parole. Also, as a punishment, the prison authorities had already removed his name from the remission register and permanently debarring him from claiming remission. Remission is a reduction in sentence of a convict due to his good conduct. Also, Sharma has spent around 15 years in jail, argued D’Souza.

The HC noted that indisputably Sharma had overstayed parole on two occasions, However, the fact remains that he has been punished for the same.

“The time-lag also assumes significance. A period of almost eight years has elapsed from the date the petitioner was apprehended and brought back to prison,” added the HC.

Besides, the judges said that the registration of another FIR against Sharma “cannot be arrayed against the petitioner to deny him the benefit of furlough forever”.

“To do so would amount to completely lose sight of the object of the correctional measure of release on furlough and parole. The release of a prisoner on parole is considered necessary from the point of view of the prisoner as well as the society.,” added the HC while granting him parole for 14 days.

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