The Bombay High Court directed jail authorities to file a report on efforts taken to trace Sajjad Mugal Pathan, convicted for the 2012 murder of lawyer Pallavi Purkayastha and absconding after granted parole this year.
In February, Pathan was granted parole by Nashik jail authorities. Pathan failed to report back to jail after expiry of the period. According to jail authorities, Pathan being a resident of Jammu and Kashmir could have crossed the Line of Control (LoC).
A division bench headed by Justice R V More was today hearing an appeal filed by Maharashtra government seeking death sentence to Pathan after the sessions court awarded him life imprisonment for murder of Purkayastha.
Special public prosecutor Ashok Mundargi told the court that Pathan had jumped parole and is absconding.
The court asked public prosecutor Sandeep Shinde to take instructions from Nashik Jail superintendent and file a report. Shinde told the court that a FIR has been lodged.
“What steps and efforts have you taken to trace his (Pathan) whereabouts? Merely lodging FIR would not suffice. Trace him out. This is a very serious matter. How can a person convicted in such a serious offence be granted parole? Bring all the papers concerned. We will monitor this,” Justice More said.
The court further observed that convicts jumping parole and absconding has become common and some stringent measures will have to be taken by the government to tackle the issue.
The bench directed for the report to be submitted on December 21.
In July last year, a sessions court had convicted and sentenced Pathan to life imprisonment for murder of Purkayastha. The trial court refused to hand down the death penalty to Pathan after observing that the case does not fall under the purview of rarest of rare.