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Wednesday, 12 August 2020

Cannot grant parole till convict comes clean: High Court

Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has made it clear that the term 'hardcore prisoner' will stand attracted once a person is "detected using a cell phone" and till the time he is cleared in the FIR for the use of mobile phone, it will not be possible to accept his prayer for grant of parole even if he has been granted bail in the matter.

ABOUT HARDCORE PRISONER

The words used in Section 2(aa)(iv) are such that the definition of hardcore prisoner will stand attracted once a person is detected using a cell phone. Till such time the petitioner is cleared in the FIR registered against him, notwithstanding the fact that he has been granted bail in the FIR, it will not be possible to accept the prayer for grant of parole. — Punjab and Haryana High Court Bench

The ruling by the Bench of Justice S Muralidhar and Justice Avneesh Jhingan came on a petition filed for six-week parole by a convict against Haryana and other respondents.

The Bench observed that the convict was undergoing rigorous imprisonment for 10 years, awarded by the Palwal Additional Sessions Judge vide judgment dated May 5, 2017, after conviction in a gang rape case. During the course of imprisonment, another FIR was registered in 2018 on the allegation that he was found to be in possession of a cell phone in the jail.

His counsel submitted that Section 2(aa)(iv) of the Haryana Good Conduct Prisoners (Temporary Release) Act defined 'hardcore prisoner' to mean a person "who has been detected of using cell phone or in possession of cell phone or SIM card inside the jail premises". His counsel contended that the petitioner should be released on parole since he had been granted bail in the FIR in connection with the possession of cell phone.

He added that till the time he was convicted for the offence registered under Section 42 of the Prisons Act, circumstances should not come in the way of granting parole. The Haryana Additional Advocate General referred to a Division Bench judgment in the case of 'Vakil Raj versus Haryana'. Among other things, the Bench had ruled "imposing a condition that the use of a mobile, which has the potential of misuse, will disentitle a convict for grant of parole cannot be said to be unjustified".

The Bench asserted: "The words used in Section 2(aa)(iv) are such that the definition of hardcore prisoner will stand attracted once a person is detected using a cell phone. Till such time the petitioner is cleared in the FIR registered against him, notwithstanding the fact that he has been granted bail in the FIR, it will not be possible to accept the prayer for grant of parole."

Before parting with the order, the Bench pointed out that the petitioner would nevertheless be entitled to be considered for grant of parole on the completion of at least five years of custody in jail under Section 5A of the Act.



from The Tribune https://ift.tt/3iuim8Y

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