The Bombay High Court sought a response of Maharashtra government to a PIL which alleged that jail authorities were misusing parole leave provision and allowing prisoners to avail this facility repeatedly in order to escape sentence.
“In 80 per cent cases in Maharashtra, male prisoners are released on parole leave on the ground that their wives have to undergo hysterectomy and many a times this ground is repeatedly cited by the same prisoner to get this facility again and again,” lawyer N Gawankar argued on behalf of the petitioner.
A bench, headed by Justice Abhay Oka, asked Maharashtra government to file an affidavit within two weeks and warned it was granting last chance to the state to respond.
Earlier, the state had filed an affidavit but the HC was not satisfied and said it was inadequate. Today, the bench asked the government to file a fresh affidavit in two weeks.
The PIL, filed by Rajan Pandurang Parkar, an activist, demanded that a prisoner, who has been released on parole for a certain period, serve additional sentence equivalent to the number of days he has been given parole.
Earlier, Rule 20 of Prison Furlough and Parole Rules provided that the number of days for which parole is given to a prisoner is not inclusive in the sentence awarded to him.
However, government issued a notification in December last year, amending Rule 20 to the effect that the period of parole would be included in the sentence awarded to a prisoner.
The petition challenged the amendment and urged that if a prisoner has availed of the parole for a certain period, then additionally he should be asked to undergo the number of days he has remained out of prison.
According to the Rules, parole is given to a prisoner in case of sickness of a close relative while furlough is granted to a prisoner as a matter of right.
The PIL alleged the parole facility is misused by most prisoners who are financially well off and manage to get this leave while the poor and less privileged convicts continue to serve their sentence.