Gujarat High Court Directs Respondent Authority To Consider Grant of Furlough Due To Applicant

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Excerpt

The Court had quashed and set aside the refusal of furlough leave due to the applicant-convict and had directed the concerned authority to re-consider the grant of furlough in accordance with the concerned law. 

Background

The applicant had before the concerned authority, preferred an application for furlough leave which was rejected by I.G. Prison on 08.12.2020. So, the convict had filed the present application for furlough leave.

Applicant’s Submissions

It was contended by the applicant that he had filed an application for his furlough leave to the authority but his request was rejected by I. G. Prison on the grounds that the police had given a negative opinion, he had committed an offence under Sections 149, 302, 307, 323, 324, 325, 326 of the Indian Penal Code and also on the ground that when he had been released on parole leave, he was then absconded from 20.05.2020 to 13.08.2020 i.e., for 86 days.

Respondent’s Submissions

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Learned APP for the Respondent- State had supported the order passed by the concerned authority. He had submitted that there was Rule 4(6) of the Prisons (Bombay Furlough and Parole) Rules, 1959 for forfeiture of the furlough. He had further submitted that in regard to the jail remarks, it appeared that the present convict had a habit of committing offences. He had also contended that there wasn’t any illegality conducted by the concerned authority in passing the impugned order, which was currently under challenge. So, he had prayed to dismiss the present application.

Consideration by Court

The Court had heard Mr B. H. Solanki, learned advocate for the Applicant- convict, and Mr R. C. Kodekar, learned APP for the Respondent- State.

The Court considered that it was a well-settled law by a catena of decisions of this Court that Parole and Furlough Rules were included in the penal and prison reforms with a view to humanize the prison system. Such rules enable the prisoner to be released and to return to the outside world for a short-prescribed period. It was observed that the object of such a release of the prisoner was so as to enable the inmate to maintain continuity with his family life and deal with his family matters, to save him from going through the evil effects of continuous prison life and also to enable him to maintain a constructive hope and active interests in his life.

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Taking in the view of the Prisons Act read with the said Rules, it appeared to the Court that the Parole and Furlough system had been incorporated with certain objects as referred to above. However, it had been observed that Parole wasn’t an absolute right of the prisoner. As per the provisions of the Act and the Rules, it could be granted or refused or withdrawn. At the same time, for furlough leave, there wasn’t any need of any ground. But there must be some reason for the grant of Parole Leave.

It was pertinent to consider that Rule 3 of The Prisons (Bombay Furlough and Parole) Rules, 1989 provided for provisions as to when prisoner might be granted furlough leave. The Court had analyzed such provisions and it was found from the Note 3, that it made provisions that if at any time, a prisoner who could have been granted furlough had either not been granted or was refused its grant, the period for which he could have been granted the furlough would not be carried forward but shall lapse. In the present case, this was not the ground of rejection of the application of furlough, but the jail authority had simply rejected the convict’s prayer on three grounds which were reproduced hereinabove. In view of the decision taken by the full bench and the fact that the prisoner had already undergone the sentence by the concerned Court for the Jail offences, the Authority must have taken into consideration other available facts on record.

Court’s Directions

In view of the above observations, the impugned order passed by the competent authority was required to be quashed and set aside and the authority needed to reconsider the request of the applicant for granting him Furlough Leave.

For the reasons cited above, the present application had succeeded. The rule was made absolute by quashing and setting aside the refusal of furlough leave due to the applicant- prisoner and the respondent authority had to consider the grant of furlough/ furloughs according to the law within a period of coming four weeks.

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Click here to read the judgment.


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