Advocate Sushila
Advocate Sushila Ram 24 Oct 2021


A Two Judge Bench of the Hon’ble #SupremeCourt of India comprising of Justices Dr Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud and B V Nagarathna passed a #Judgment dated 20-10-2021 in the case of State of Gujarat & Anr.v. Narayan @ Narayan Sai @ Mota Bhagwan Asaram @ Asumal Harpalani 2021 SCC Online SC 949 and held that the release of a #prisoner on #furlough is not a legal right.

The Supreme Court has explained the difference between #parole and #furlough as follows:

i) Furlough and parole envisage a short-term temporary release from custody;

ii) While parole is granted for the prisoner to meet a specific exigency, furlough may be granted after a stipulated number of years have been served without any reason;

iii) The grant of furlough is to break the monotony of imprisonment and to enable the convict to maintain continuity with family life and integration with society;

iv) Although furlough can be claimed without a reason, the prisoner does not have an absolute legal right to claim furlough;

v) The grant of furlough must be balanced against the public interest and can be refused to certain categories of prisoners.

In the present case, on 6-10-2013 an FIR was registered against the Respondent at Jahangirpura Police Station for offences under Sections 376(2)(c), 377, 354, 344, 357, 342, 323, 504, 506(2), 120-B, 212, 153 and 114 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC). Vide Judgment dated 30-04-2019 the Sessions Court convicted the Respondent.

Thereafter, vide Order dated 02-12-2020 of the High Court of Gujarat (High Court) the Respondent was released on temporary bail for a period of three weeks on 16-04-2015 and for a period of two days on 15-02-2019. The Respondent was then granted furlough from 5-12-2020 for a period of fourteen days. Subsequently, due to the ill-health of his mother, the Respondent was released on temporary bail from 31-01-2021 to 03-02-2021.

On 17-03-2021, the Respondent filed an Application for furlough through the Surat Lajpore Central Jail. However, on 08-05-2021 the Director General of Police, Jail and Reformative Administration rejected the Application on the following grounds:

  1. The Respondent is accused of high profile cases of rape and atrocities punishable under provisions of Sections 376(2)(c), 377, 354, 504, 506(2), 508 of the IPC;
  2. The opinions of the ACP and DCP indicate that in addition to the main offence, the respondent has engaged in criminal misconduct to hinder the judicial proceedings during trial by threatening, assaulting and murdering witnesses;
  3. Frequent assaults on witnesses have been registered against the followers of the Respondent and seven offences have been registered against him;
  4. One of these seven offences is being supervised by an IPS Officer, Shoba Bhutada, who has been threatened by the followers of the Respondent;
  5. The Respondent is not a normal prisoner who may be considered for grant of furlough. He has a group of thousands of head strong followers, spanning across the country who are willing to commit offences at the instance of the Respondent;
  6. In case the Respondent is released on furlough, the lives of the witnesses in the original trial will be under threat. The Respondent may interrupt the judicial proceedings for prosecution of the seven offences pending against him; and
  7. The Respondent is engaged in dangerous activities of organized crime and has a network of persons and a financial background.

To read more, please visit the link below:

#supremecourt #parole #furlough

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