Read Order: Sanjay v. State of Haryana and Others 

Monika Rahar

Chandigarh,  May 23, 2022: While dealing with a Writ Petition filed by a convict whose application for the grant of parole was rejected on the ‘sole’ ground that there was apprehension governing the possibility of the petitioner absconding and committing the same crimes, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has reiterated that the parole cannot be rejected mainly on the apprehension that the petitioner will again commit the same offence. 

The Bench of Justice Vikas Bahl came to the above-stated conclusion based on the law laid down in the case of Amritpal Singh @ Amba Vs. State of Punjab, coupled with the fact, “… the sole reason given for rejecting the parole is that in case the petitioner is released on parole, then he would abscond and commit other crimes. No material has been referred to on the basis of which the said conclusion has been arrived at.”

Here, in this case, the Court was dealing with a Criminal Writ Petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India read with Section 482 Cr.P.C. for grant of concession of parole to the petitioner for 3 months under Section 3(1)(a) of the Haryana Good Conduct Prisoners (Temporary Release) Act, 1988 to enable him to serve his mother who was admitted in an emergency on May 17, 2022, in Kaushalya Spine and Pain Hospital, Rohtak. 

Essentially, in October of 2005, the petitioner was convicted in an FIR under Section 25 of the Arms Act and Sections 148, 149, 186, 224, 225, 302, 307, 332, 353, 392 and 427 of IPC and was confined in jail for the last 15 years approximately. 

It was the case of the petitioner’s counsel that the petitioner’s mother was admitted to the hospital for being suffering from CVA with vertigo and cervical and thus was in need of urgent care. The Counsel further contended that the petitioner was the only breadwinner of his family and there was nobody to look after his old mother. Also, the Counsel mentioned that on an earlier occasion, the petitioner was released on emergency parole (which was extended) and while being so released, he complied with all the terms and conditions of the said emergency parole. 

On May 06, 2022, the parole of the petitioner was rejected vide an order due to apprehensions surrounding his possibility of absconding (from the parole) and committing other crimes. In this regard, the counsel argued that this order was based on surmises and conjectures, without there being any material before the authorities to come to the said conclusion. 

Reliance in this regard was placed upon Amritpal Singh @ Amba (Supra) to contend that mainly on the ground of apprehension, the parole cannot be rejected. 

The Court at the very outset, looked into the affidavit of the Deputy Superintendent, Central Jail, Ambala to verify the averments made by the petitioner in this petition. After considering the same, it came to the notice of the Court that the petitioner’s mother was indeed seriously ill and that the petitioner was the sole breadwinner of his family. Also, the Court observed from such affidavit that earlier also the petitioner was released on emergency parole and nothing was indicated to show that he had misused the same. 

Further, while showing agreement with the case advanced by the petitioner’s counsel, the Court noted (from the impugned order) that the sole reason given for rejecting the parole was the speculation that in case the petitioner was released on parole, he would abscond and commit other crimes. Also, Justice Bahl noted that no material was referred to on the basis of which the said conclusion was arrived at.

Thus, against this background, the Court reiterated that the parole cannot be rejected mainly on the apprehension that the petitioner will again commit the same offence. 

Thus, keeping in view the above said facts and circumstances and the law laid down in the above said judgment, the impugned order was set aside and the petitioner was released on parole for a period of 3 weeks subject to a heavy surety to the satisfaction of the concerned Chief Judicial Magistrate/Duty Magistrate. 

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