Mumbai: Observing that the jail and police authorities need to be sensitive while granting parole or furlough orders, the Bombay High Court recently allowed a murder convict to attend his brother's wedding.
A bench of Justices Sunil Shukre and Avinash Gharote was upset with the "condition" imposed by the jail authorities upon the convict for releasing him on emergency parole for a day.
As per the condition, the convict was asked to bear the costs of the hefty police arrangements being deployed to enable him to attend the wedding ceremony.
"In principle, the authority has considered him as eligible for being released on emergency parole of one day. But, while exercising discretion in his favour, the authority, instead of putting a condition of his visit daily to Police Station, the authority has directed him to be released on one day parole under police bandobast, the expenses of which would be borne by him," the judges noted.
The judges further opined, "If it is to be believed that the expenses for police arrangements are to be borne by the convict, then it comes to about Rs.1,50,000."
The grant of emergency parole to him would then be nothing but an illusion and he would not really be in a position to witness one of the joyous occasions in his family.
"The impugned order notes the fact that he has never been released, either on parole or furlough and therefore, his conduct in terms of his respect for the conditions stipulated in the orders of release either on parole or furlough, is yet to be tested," the judges opined.
"But, at the same time, it is seen from the impugned order that there is no adverse remark expressed therein about his conduct. If this is so, we are of the view that the petitioner can be considered to be released on one day’s emergency parole by imposing an alternative condition of appearing before the local police," the order added.
The judges further noted that the man is a murder convict sentenced to 10 years.
"Thus, we do not think that he could be considered to be such a hopeless prisoner as not to deserve to be reposed faith in him by the law enforcing machinery," the judges said while allowing the convict to attend his brother's wedding ceremony.