The Bombay High Court bench at Goa last week ordered the state's Inspector General of Prisons to consider the plea of a foreign national seeking parole to attend his own wedding. The bench of Justice Mukulika Jawalkar held that a prisoner could be released on parole even on the ground of his or her own marriage.
The judge was dealing with a plea filed by Lara Nabhan (25), a citizen of the United States of America challenging the orders passed by the Goa jail authorities rejecting the application filed by one Ivan Miguel, who had sought parole.
Ivan is presently lodged at the Colvale central jail in Goa as he is imprisoned under the NDPS act.
In her plea, Lara sought a direction to the jail authorities to consider Ivan's plea for a 30 days parole so that he could come out and marry her.
According to her plea, Lara and Ivan got engaged in October, 2020 and were planning to get married, however the same could not take place as he was convicted and was required to surrender before the court. She stated that they both being foreign nationals are required to obtain permission from the Civil Court for the purpose of registration of their marriage in Goa and in order to facilitate the marriage
registration as well as to perform the religious rituals, she had sought 30 days parole for her fiance.
However, the IG, Prisons of the state rejected Ivan's parole plea on the ground that his "reason for parole" does not come within the scope of Rule 324 of Goa Prisons Rules, 2006.
This is a rule which allows parole for a prisoner to attend marriage of a family member or to attend ailing family members.
Having hearing the contentions, Justice Jawalkar said, "I am of the opinion that the interpretation of Rule 324 is apparently erroneous and parole can be granted for any other sufficient cause and it cannot be restricted only to the emergent situations like death or serious illness of father, mother, brother, sister, spouse and children and also marriage of brother, sister and children."
"It can be granted for any other sufficient cause. Thus, list of emergent situation is not exhaustive but inclusive one," the judge added.
Justice Jawalkar further said, "Marriage thus can be a sufficient cause for such grant of parole. Even though there is no specific mention of ground of personal marriage (in Rule 324) the expression 'for any other sufficient cause' would take within its sweep the marriage of the person to order his release on parole."
The bench accordingly ordered the IG, Prisons to reconsider Ivan's plea for parole.
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