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Rajasthan HC says parole can’t be denied to eligible prisoners citing release of other convicts

The parole writ petition has been filed by the petitioner Bhawani Singh S/o Mahaveer Singh assailing the adverse recommendations dated April 23, 2021 drawn by the District Parole Advisory Committee, Churu in its meeting dated April 20, 2021, whereby the application for second parole filed by the petitioner was dismissed.

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The Rajasthan High Court on Monday held that parole can’t be denied to eligible prisoners on the grounds that simultaneous release of convicts.

The Division Bench of Justice Sandeep Mehta and Justice Manoj Kumar Garg passed this order while hearing a criminal writ petition filed by Bhawani Singh.

The parole writ petition has been filed by the petitioner Bhawani Singh S/o Mahaveer Singh assailing the adverse recommendations dated April 23, 2021 drawn by the District Parole Advisory Committee, Churu in its meeting dated April 20, 2021, whereby the application for second parole filed by the petitioner was dismissed.

The petition said that the petitioner is in custody for the last more than 9 years. The District Parole Advisory Committee, Churu rejected the parole application of the convict-petitioner on the premise that 3 accused, namely, Bhawani Singh, the petitioner herein, Vijay Singh @ Birju Singh and Kaptan Singh, all of whom are residents of the same village, had been convicted in the same case. If all 3 were released on parole simultaneously, it could give the wrong message in society.

Citing this reason, the District Parole Advisory Committee rejected the parole application of the convict-petitioner while granting parole to the other two. By order dated July 15, 2021, the Court had directed Farzand Ali, G.A.-cum-A.A.G., to submit explanation of the District Magistrate, Churu regarding the rejection of the second parole application of the convict-petitioner keeping in view of the directions given by this court in the case of Smt. Indra Kanwar Vs. State of Rajasthan & Ors.

In furtherance thereof, the requisite explanation has been filed. All that is mentioned in this explanation is that because 3 accused persons hailing from the same village were convicts in this case, a conscious decision was taken not to release them simultaneously and two convicts, namely, Vijay Singh and Kaptan Singh, were granted parole.

“Suffice it to say that the reason mentioned in this explanation and the adverse parole recommendations is absolutely perfunctory and unacceptable. Even if for a moment, it is believed that there is some rationality behind this reason, then the District Parole Advisory Committee should not have outrightly rejected the parole application of the petitioner and it could have been directed that the petitioner would be released on parole after the 2 co-convicts availed parole facility and surrendered back in the prison,” the Court observed.

“In the alternative, the parole application of the convict-petitioner could be kept pending till such date. By rejecting the parole application in such a mechanical fashion, the parole advisory committee has significantly delayed the right of the petitioner to be considered for release on parole. More than 3 months have passed since the parole application of the convict petitioner was rejected. It is expected that by this time, the 2 convicts must have availed the parole facility and would have surrendered back in the prison. If at all there was any justification in the actions of the parole committee, then they could have suo motu considered granting second parole to the petitioner after the other two surrendered,” the Court said.

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“In view of the discussion made herein above, we hereby strike down the adverse recommendations dated April 23, 2021 drawn by the District Parole Advisory Committee, Churu in its meeting dated April 20, 2021 qua the petitioner and it is ordered that the petitioner Bhawani Singh S/o Mahaveer Singh shall be released on second parole of 30 days upon his furnishing a personal bond in the sum of Rs.80,000/- with two sound and solvent sureties of Rs.40,000/- each to the satisfaction of Superintendent, Central Jail concerned on the usual terms and conditions,” the Court ordered

“The Superintendent, Central Jail concerned shall be at liberty to impose other adequate and reasonable conditions to ensure return of the convict to the custody after availing parole. The term of parole shall be computed from the date of actual release of the petitioner,” the order reads.

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