Punjab and Haryana High Court deny release on Parole to perform father’s last rites

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The present case of Natwar Lal Das Alias Laxman v State of Haryana & Others, took place through a video call where Mandamus was prayed for commanding the Superintendent, Central Jail-1, Hisar, Haryana, to temporarily release the petitioner on parole, in terms of Section 3(1)(a) of the Haryana Good Conduct Prisoners (Temporary Release) Act, 1988,  so that he could attend the last rites of his father.

Facts of the case are:

The petitioner was convicted under Sections 302/343/120-B of the Indian Penal Code by the learned Additional Sessions Judge, Hisar. He is currently undergoing imprisonment for life till natural death. His appeal against conviction is pending before this Court.

For, the father of the petitioner, namely Shankar Das, died on 12.4.2020, and so, the petitioner moved the authority under the Act, seeking the temporary release of the convict. The grievance of the petitioner is, for the said application continuous to remain 1 of 3 pending, thus this petition.

Petitioner’s Arguments:

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In reference to the provisions of Section 3(1)(a) of the Act, a prisoner has a statutory right of temporary release from the prison on parole if a member of the prisoner’s family has died.

He further submitted that, as the petitioner wishes to attend the Bhog ceremony of his father and participate in the performance of certain rituals, he is entitled to be released on parole.

Respondent’s Arguments:

Opposing to this, Mr Deepak Sabharwal, learned Additional Advocate General, Haryana, submitted that the application moved on behalf of the petitioner for parole had been rejected and the order passed by the competent authority in this regard has since been furnished to the counsel for the petitioner.

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He further submitted that the father of the petitioner passed away on 12.4.2020, and last rites of the deceased have already been performed. The petitioner is not entitled to parole. Thus, he asserts that the petition deserves to be dismissed.

Court’s Observation:

  • The Court observed that the late father of the petitioner passed away on 12.4.2020.
  • As informed by the learned State counsel, the last rites of the deceased have since been performed.
  • The submission regarding attending the Bhog Ceremony and participating in other rituals cannot be countenanced either. For, it is submitted by the learned State counsel that upon being specifically enquired, the village Panchayat, WAS-Gogunda, District Udaipur, and/or other concerned authorities denied if any Bhog Ceremony was being performed or any dates were fixed/finalised by the family in this regard.
  • Even otherwise, the petitioner is a resident of Narsinghpura, Tehsil Gogunda, District Udaipur (Rajasthan), and is currently lodged in Central Jail-1, Hisar (Haryana). Both the States are under 2 of 3 curfews and owing to a pandemic (COVID-19), the country is under a national lockdown.

Court’s Decision:

Thus, in the given circumstances, the Court is dissuaded to grant the prayer of the petitioner or to order his release from prison on parole. The petition is accordingly dismissed.


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