The High Court of Punjab & Haryana, in the present case, allowed the application and granted exemption from filing the original power of attorney, the photocopy of the same being taken on record.
The case of Pawan Kumar v State of Haryana & Others (03.04.2020), was taken up through video-conferencing where the prayer in the application is made for a temporary release of the petitioner so that he can perform the last rites of his deceased father.
The petitioner has filed the present petition under Article 226/227 of the Constitution of India, read with Section 3 of the Haryana Good Conduct Prisoners (Temporary Release) Act, 1988, for release of the petitioner on emergency parole due to death of his father Gyan Chand.
The petitioner had been convicted under Section 21(c) of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985. The case was registered at Police Station, City Hisar by learned Additional Sessions Judge, and was sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment of 10 years and a fine of Rs.1,00,000/-. In case of default of fine, the petitioner was to further undergo rigorous imprisonment for 6 months.
The petition had been filed on the grounds that the petitioner’s father died on 26.03.2020 and he is the only son, has to perform last rites scheduled for 04.04.2020. The petitioner through his mother approached the Deputy Commissioner/District Magistrate, Hisar for a grant of 14 days emergency parole but the application was dismissed. The ground of dismissing the application was that the petitioner has not completed one year of his imprisonment after conviction in view of Rule 4(1) of the Haryana Good Conduct (Temporary Release) Rules, 2007. Although no such provision is there under the 1988 Act for denial of temporary release.
Counsel for the petitioner submits that
The application for a temporary release of the petitioner on parole has been wrongly declined on the ground that the petitioner has not completed one year of the sentence after conviction by relying on Rule 4(1) of the 2007 Rules.
There is no provision under the 1988 Act, denying such prayer. The same may be set aside and the petitioner may be ordered to be released on 14 days emergency parole.
In support of his arguments, learned counsel placed reliance on the observations in Deepak v. State of Haryana and another, 2014, Rakesh v. State of Haryana and other decided on 05.09.2014.
Learned counsel for the respondent submits that
The State has admitted the facts regarding the death of the father of the petitioner and last rites of the father of the petitioner being scheduled for 04.04.2020.
However, the petitioner has been convicted for having in his possession commercial quantity of the contraband and the petitioner has not completed one year of imprisonment after conviction. The petitioner is not entitled to the grant of parole.
Therefore, the petition may be dismissed.
Section 3(1)(a) of the 1988 Act permits release of a prisoner on parole if the State Government is satisfied that the prisoner’s family had died or is seriously ill or the prisoner himself is seriously ill.
Section 3(2) of the 1988 Act provides that the period for which a prisoner may be temporarily released on parole shall not exceed three weeks.
Rule 4(1) of the 2007 Rules provides that a prisoner shall be entitled to apply for parole only after he has completed one year of his imprisonment after the conviction and has earned his first annual good conduct remission under the 1988 Act.
The father of the petitioner died on 26.03.2020 and his last rites/tervi is scheduled for 04.04.2020.
Presence of the petitioner due to being the only son is necessary for performing the last rites of his deceased father.
In view of the above referred judicial precedents, application for a temporary release of the petitioner on parole could not be declined on the ground that the petitioner has not completed one year of his imprisonment after conviction and the impugned order suffers from material illegality and is liable to be set aside.
Hence, in the present case, the petition is allowed with the view that – due to the inability of the applicants/appellants to furnish sureties due to restrictions imposed under lock-down to prevent the spread of infection of Covid-19, the petitioner is ordered to be released on 14 days parole with effect from 04.04.2020 on furnishing of personal bond in the sum of Rs.1,00,000/- to Superintendent, and the petitioner shall surrender back on 19.04.2020.
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