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Prison punishment reduced on humanitarian grounds where prisoner overstayed furlough period

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Case – Takku Singh v. State of Maharashtra, 2016 SCC OnLine Bom 8834, decided on September 22, 2016

The Bombay High Court while examining the aspects of prison punishment granted to prisoners held that the prison punishment could be reduced on humanitarian grounds in case the prisoner overstayed the period granted in furlough. Court while deciding in favour of the petitioner reduced his punishment who overstayed the period of furlough leave granted to him, by 93 days, as his wife was not keeping well and had to undergo hysterectomy.

In the instant case petitioner was granted 14 days furlough leave and was released on March 20, 2004, however, he did not present himself on time i.e. on April 4, 2004 before the jail authorities. As a result he was arrested and brought back to jail on July 7, 2004. Thus prison punishment was imposed on the petitioner to forfeit his remission in the ratio of 1:5 i.e. for each day of overstay, 5 days of remission would be cut. The petitioner being aggrieved by the prison punishment contends it to be harsh and that it should be set aside. The Court on hearing the explanation submitted by the petitioner, reduced the prison punishment of the petitioner in the ratio of 1:3 i.e. for every day of overstay, 3 days of remission would be cut, instead of the original punishment  in the ratio of 1:5.

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