Chandigarh, March 9, 2022: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has held that the grant of parole under the Haryana Good Conduct Prisoners (Temporary Release) Act, 1988 is a discretionary relief, and it cannot be claimed by a convict as a matter of right.
The Division Bench of Justice Ramachandra Rao and Justice H.S. Madaan also added, “For ordering a convict on temporary release from custody in the form of parole, various factors have to be taken into consideration, and it is not to be granted in a mechanical way adopting a casual and cursory approach.”
In this case, the petitioner was accused of murder and an FIR under Sections 302, 201 and 120-B of the IPC was registered against the accused. He was convicted and sentenced to undergo life imprisonment in Model Jail, Chandigarh. While undergoing this sentence, the petitoner- accused brought the instant criminal writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India read with Section 3(1)(b) of Haryana Good Conduct Prisoners (Temporary Release) Act, 1988 (for short ‘the Act’) seeking 90 days special parole to take care of his old aged mother Smt. Balwinder Kaur, statedly suffering from kidney disease, requiring surgery.
The petitioner applied to the jail authorities for grant of parole but his request was declined for the reason of his involvement in three criminal cases relating to theft, dishonestly retaining stolen property and other serious offences and the resultant apprehension of disturbance of public peace and tranquility on the release of the petitioner on parole.
In order to check the veracity of the claim of the petitioner on her mother’s medical condition, the Court perused documents i.e. communication addressed by the District Magistrate, Patiala to Inspector General of Prisons, UT Chandigarh and intimation sent from the office of Inspector General of Prisons & Correctional Administration, UT Chandigarh to Superintendent, Model Jail, Chandigarh, to state that no specific reason for seeking the parole was mentioned.
Further, the Court was informed that on the claim of the petitioner’s mother’s ailment (as mentioned in his Writ Petition) the local Police made an enquiry and recorded the statement of the sarpanch of the village concerned and it came to the light that the petitioner had a stepmother and a biological mother, both living in the same house with the petitioner’s younger brother and none of them was suffering from kidney failure requiring surgery (as was claimed by the writ petitioner).
In light of the enquiry conducted by the local police and the report prepared by them, the Court observed that the petitioner made misrepresentations stating that his mother Balwinder Kaur was suffering from kidney disease, and she was in need of surgery. The Court also observed that there was no mention in the petition that the petitioner had a stepmother by the name of Jaspal, who was suffering from the disease of Hepatitis C.
“Such act and conduct of the petitioner is more than sufficient to dismiss his petition seeking discretionary relief of grant of parole”, said the Court.
Furthermore, the Court also noted that the petitioner was a habitual criminal inasmuch as he was involved in 04 criminal cases. Thus, the Court found substance in the apprehension expressed by the local police that if granted parole, there was a likelihood of breach of public peace and tranquility.
Also, it came to the light that between April to November of 2020, the petitioner availed three parols of 2 days each. Thus, the Court was of the view that the petitioner was out of jail for a considerable period, and he could very well have attended to his mother. No medical document was attached by the petitioner in support of assertions in the writ petition to corroborate his version, noted the Court.
Thus, the petition was dismissed.