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Parole In Context Of State Of Punjab

Parole: The Punjab Good Conduct Prisoners (Temporary Release) Act 1962 And Rules 1963

Parole is defined as a temporary and conditional release of a prisoner from the custody before the completion of his sentence, on the promise of good conduct and behavior. It is to be taken as an act of grace not matter of right. It enables the prisoner to get release from its custody and to return to the outside world for a short prescribed period. Only that convict/prisoner is entitled to get parole who served with undergo imprisonment of his sentence, in part.

While on parole the prisoner lives at liberty subject to the conditions which may be imposed by the parole board with its parole order. Violation of any condition in the parole order may result in cancellation of parole order and the convict is to be sent back to the bars. Therefore, the parole is said to be a provisional release of convict from its confinement without changing the status of the prisoner.

Parole has been defined in Black’s Law Dictionary as, release from jail, prison or other confinement after actually serving part of sentence. Further Sunil Fulchand Shah Vs. Union Of India & oths1 the Apex Court describe “parole” as a form of “temporary release” from custody, which does not suspend the sentence or period of detention, but provides conditional release from custody and changes the mode of undergoing sentence.

In the case of Asfaq Vs State Of Rajasthan & others 2 the Hon’ble Supreme Court defined as it is a conditional pardon by which the convict is released before the expiration of his term. In that eventually, it is to be treated as mere suspension of the sentence for time being, keeping the quantum of sentence intact.

Object: It is well known that the life in a prison is so rigid and restrictive that it hardly offers any opportunity for the offender to rehabilitate himself. Thus with its primary object of rehabilitation of offender such humanitarian approach has been induced in Indian prison system therefore the prisoners may keep in contact with social as well family ties.

In Punam Lata Vs ML Wadhawan 3 the Apex Court held that release on parole is a wing of reformative process and is expected to provide an opportunity to the prisoner to transform himself into useful citizen.

However, the grant of Parole in India is administered by the provisions/rules made under the Prison Act, 1894 and Prisoner Act, 1900. Under these acts, each state of India is empowered to make its own rules or provisions regarding temporary release like parole, furlough or remission of the prisoners and each state is also empowered to makes the necessary amendments in these rules/provisions for time to time, as to its requirements.

Therefore we will discussed, the provisions of temporary release of prisoner on parole in the context of State of Punjab only. With a view to grant the relief of temporary release to the prisoner an enactment named as The Punjab Good Conduct of Prisoners (Temporary Release) Act 1962 has been passed by the State of Punjab.

The object of this Act is only to provide relief to the convicts in form of temporary release (like parole or furlough) from its custody on the basis of some relevant and considerable grounds.

Moreover, for the execution of such relief or privilege the State Legislature has also been established a separate enactment by laying the procedure with the name of PGCPTR Rules 1963. Afterwards, as to pursuing the reformative requirements, the particular Act i.e 1962 has been amended by State government in 2015.

The Punjab Good Conduct Prisoners (Temporary Release) Act 1962

Grounds of Release on parole: Sec3(1) the prisoner/convict may release on parole on the basis of any of the following grounds:

  1. member of the prisoner’s family has died; or
  2. member of the prisoner’s family is seriously ill; or
  3. the marriage of son or daughter of the prisoner is to be celebrated; or
  4. the temporary release of the prisoner is necessary for sloughing, sowing or harvesting or carrying on any agricultural operation on his land and no friend or a family member of the prisoner is prepared to help him in this behalf in his absence; or
  5. a lady prisoner is pregnant and is likely to deliver a child4; or
  6. it is desirable so to do for any other sufficient cause. It includes as;
    1. serious damage to property or life of the member of the family caused by any natural calamity; or
    2. critical condition of any member of the family on account of accident; or
    3. delivery of child by the wife of prisoner.

These three abovementioned sub-clauses has been inserted by PGCPTR (Amendment) Act 2015.

Time period to release: Sec 3(2) of the Act prescribed the time period as:

  1. the prisoner not be released exceeding to the period of fifteen days (as per Amendment Act 2015), on the ground of clause (a).
  2. the prisoner not be released exceeding to the period of six weeks (As per Amendment Act 2015), on the ground of clause (b) or (c) or (d) or (f) of sec 3(1).
  3. the prisoner not be released exceeding to the period of one hundred and twenty days (sixty days prior to the date of delivery of child and sixty days after the date of delivery of child), on the ground of clause (e) of the section 3(1) of the Amended Act 2015.
Sec 3(3) provided that the period of release under this section shall not be count towards the total period of the sentence of a prisoner.

The substituted Sec 2-A of the PGCTR (Amendment) act 2015 stated that generally the total period of temporary release of prisoner shall not exceed twelve weeks during a calendar year and shall be availed on the quarterly basis.

Who is authorized to Release: Sec 4(1) The State Government or any officer authorized by the State Government on this behalf may, with the consultation of concerned District Magistrate, release any prisoner on parole with subject to such conditions.

Prisoner entitled to be release: Any prisoner may release on parole:

  1. who has been sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not less than five years and
  2. who has been undergo imprisonment for the period of three years immediately before the date of his temporarily release i.e parole. And
  3. who has not committed any jail offence during the period of his imprisonment and
  4. has also earned three annual good conduct remissions.

Prisoner not entitled to be release; As to section 4 the prisoner not be released if:

  1. has committed any jail offence during the period of his imprisonment, or
  2. has been convicted for the offence of robbery or dacoity or any such other offence that has been specified in notification by state government, or
  3. has been awarded with death sentence, or
  4. is a habitual offender as defined u/s 2 of the Punjab Habitual Offenders (Control and Reforms) Act 1952.
  5. Sec 6 of the Act 1962 emphasis that the prisoner shall not be entitled to be released that means the prisoner is liable to be declined to get the parole where the State Government or any officer authorized on this behalf is satisfied, with the consultation of concerned District Magistrate, that the release of such prisoner may likely to endanger the security of the state or public tranquility.

Prisoner does not surrender; Sec 8 of the Act empowers that if the prisoner does not surrender himself before concerned jail superintendent (By which he has been released) within ten days from the date on which he have to surrender himself then he may be arrested by any police officer without a warrant and shall be remanded.

According to sec 9 it is Non-Bailable offence and shall be punishable with imprisonment of either description which may extend to three months or fine not exceeding one thousand rupees or with both. The punishment prescribed in this section is to be in addition to the punishment of the offence for which he has been convicted.

Procedure to grant the parole; The Punjab Good Conduct Prisoners (Temporary Release) Rules 1963 is prescribed the procedure to seek the grant of parole. As to Rule 3:

  1. If a prisoner desirous of seeking parole as u/s 3 or u/s 4 of the Act 1962 then he/she shall make an application in Form A-1 (specified in Rule 1963) to the Superintendent of Jail and Such an application may also be made by any adult member of the prisoner's family.
     
  2. The Superintendent of Jail shall make the report mentioning by conduct and behavior of the prisoner and forwarded along with such application to the District Magistrate (within whose jurisdiction the prisoner is likely to resides during the period of his release), afterword the said District magistrate consulting the Superintendent of Police of his District and shall forward the case with his recommendations to the Inspector General of prison (Punjab) along with report of concerned S P.

    The Inspector General of prison will then record his views on the case whether the prisoner is to be released or not and submit the same to the Releasing Authority (who has been authorized by the state govt. to make an order on this behalf) for orders. The Distt. Magistrate, before making any recommendation, shall verify the facts and grounds on which pre- mature release has been requested and shall also give his opinion that the temporary release of the prisoner is likely to be dangerous to the security of State or prejudicial to the maintenance of public order.
     
  3. If after making such enquiry as it may deem fit, the Releasing Authority is satisfied that the prisoner is entitled to be released under the Act, the Releasing Authority may issue to the Superintendent of Jail through the Inspector-General a duly signed and sealed warrant in ordering the temporary release of the prisoner, specifying therein (1) period of release, (ii) the place or places which the prisoner is allowed to visit during the period of such temporary release, and the amount for which the security and the surety bond shall be furnished by the prisoner.

    Then the copy of such release warrant shall sent to the district magistrate by the superintendent of jail and after receiving the personal and surety bond of the prisoner, the district magistrate shall report to the jail authority. Then the jail superintendent release the prisoner from custody.

Remedy: If the parole application is rejected by the state concerned authority then the petitioner may avail the remedy by filling writ petition before the High Court.

It is pertinent to mention that no one, without availing the primary/alternate remedy of parole that has been provided under the Act 1962, can access to the high court by filling the writ petition to seek the grant of parole.

In the case of Maninderjit Singh Alias Dimpy Vs State Of Punjab & Others 5 the petitioner has filed the present writ petition seeking parole, though, without making any request to the competent authority for release of the petitioner on parole. In view of the above, the present petition is disposed of with the liberty to the petitioner to avail alternative remedy provided under The PGCPTR Act, 1962.

Judicial Trend:
Daljeet @ Jaljeet vs State And Others 6....Facts in Figure: The petitioner was convicted under Sections 147, 148, 341, 332, 353, 186, 188, 435 read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and Section 33 of the Forest Act and the petitioner was also convicted for other offence as u/s, 149, 302,307, 397, 427, 436 of the IPC and Section 25 of the Arms Act,1959.
On 11.11.2019 the mother of convicted/prisoner applied for emergency parole of the petitioner with the averments of medical emergency treatment of the father of the petitioner. Respondent No. 2 the (Superintendent of Central Jail) directed the same to the concerned SHO and Superintendent of Police, for verification.

Who verified the facts and informed respondent No. 2 that the medical ground was genuine. S.H.O. Police Station made also a report with an objection to release of petitioner as he was hardcore prisoner. On the basis of said report, respondent No. 2 rejected the parole case of the petitioner.

The petitioner was granted parole from 27.12.2019 to 09.01.2020 by Co-ordinate Bench of this Hon’ble High Court. Now the petitioner seeking again grant of parole for further period extended to 31.01.2020 by with the aforesaid ground by filling present writ petition i.e. under article 226 & 227 of the Constitution of India.

Order: The Court Held that in these facts and circumstances there is no sufficient cause for extension/grant of parole to the petitioner upto 31.01.2020. However, the petitioner has already availed parole for a longer period and moreover there is no provision for extension of parole. The treatment of his father is likely to continue over a long period and the petitioner cannot be granted parole for such a long period.

Sukhjinder Singh vs State Of Punjab And 7

Facts: The petitioner has moved an application before the concerned authority to grant him release on parole and the same was rejected by state competent authority with view to an report of SSP Amritsar rural. Against that impugned order, the petitioner filed the present writ petition to seeking for grant of parole for two days on the ground as mentioned in Section 3(1)(c) of the Punjab Good Conduct Prisoners (Temporary) Release Act, 1962 to attend the marriage of his brother, which is going to take place on 06/07.03.2018.

The respondents-State, submitted the reply by way of an affidavit of Superintendent, Central Jail, Amritsar. Wherein, it has been stated that six more cases like murder, robbery, dacoity and kidnapping are pending in the court against the petitioner. It has also been mentioned in the reply that the petitioner has link with many criminal gangsters and he can be abscond, in case, he is released on parole. There is a threat to the State security and maintenance of Public order.

Order; However, the temporary release of the prisoner is not a statuary right but a privilege. Accordingly, by considering the nature of offence and serious threat as a whole, the convict can be deprived by such privilege. Moreover, the parole cannot be claimed as a matter of right. It can be denied/declined without sufficient cause. As such the petitioner cannot be released on parole and the present petition, being devoid of any merit, is hereby, dismissed.

Lakhvir Singh vs State Of Punjab And Ors 8… The present petitioner (Juvenile) has been convicted for the offence punishable under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code and has been sent to observation home by Session Court of SBS Nagar (Punjab).

The mother of the petitioner filed an application on 01.11.2016 addressed to the Superintendent, Borstal Jail, for seeking grant of emergency parole to her son i.e. the petitioner for 15 days for the ground of the marriage of the real brother of the petitioner that is to be solemnized on 27.11.2016.

The application received from mother of the juvenile was considered and rejected by competent authority. Even with the contention that in terms of para 753 of the Jail Manual the Superintendent of Jail has no power or authority to grant emergency parole or leave in case of any juvenile prisoner. Against that order the petitioner filed the present writ petition.

Order; In the present Criminal writ petition the court held that the reference placed by the respondent as to Para 753 of the Punjab Jail Manual is out of context, infact Rule 62 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Rules, 2007 was liable to be followed.

Therefore the present petition is allowed and the petitioner Lakhvir Singh is granted fifteen days leave of absence from the 'Observation Home', subject to his furnishing necessary surety to the satisfaction of the Principal Magistrate of the Juvenile Justice Board/Chief Judicial Magistrate.
Mohan Singh vs State Of Punjab And Others9…

This petition has been filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India read with Section 3 (1) (c) of Punjab Good Conduct Prisoner Temporary Release Act, 1962 is for issuance of a direction to the respondents to release the petitioner on parole for four weeks.

The petitioner is convicted and sentenced by Addl. Session Judge, Ludhiana for the offence u/s 302 IPC. Petitioner is in custody since 22.05.2003 i.e almost 10 yeas 10 months and 12 days. The petitioner moved an application before the jail authorities for temporary release on parole of 4 weeks to meet his family members and same has been forwarded by Supdt. Central Jail, Ludhiana-respondent No. 2 to District Magistrate.

The Gram Panchayat of the village had given a recommendation letter i.e panchayatnama also that the petitioner be temporary release for four weeks and there is no danger to peace and order of the village.

Additional Director General of Police (Prisons) has also rejected the case on the basis of the verification report that was got conducted by District Magistrate through S.S.P Mehrajganj (U.P) and in his report he has stated that there are no valid reasons for the convict to release him on parole. The said report reads as under:
  1. Neither death of any serious illness has happened in the house of the above said convict
  2. There is no marriage of son or daughter of the above said convict, which is to be performed.
  3. There is no type of agricultural work, which is to be done by the above said convict on reaching home.
  4. There is no specific reason for releasing the convict on parole. There may be bad effect on the society in case he is released on parole.

Order: The petitioner cannot be denied the benefit of release him on parole on the ground that he may have bad effect on the society in case he is released on parole while the Gram Panchayat of the village had given a recommendation letter also that the petitioner be temporary release for four weeks and there is no danger to peace and order of the village. I attest to the accuracy and integrity of this document. Consequently, this petition is disposed of and a direction is being given to release the petitioner on parole for 3 weeks.

Anil Jain vs State Of Punjab And Anr10… Facts: Prayer in the present petition is for issuance of directions to the respondents to release the petitioner on parole for four weeks to enable him to get private medical treatment/surgery of brain, which carries syst, in the light of Section 3 (1)(d) of the PGCPTR Act, 1962.

The petitioner submits that considering the nature of disease, the petitioner urgently requires surgical intervention and he would prefer if the surgery is conducted in a private hospital, preferably in Max Hospital situated in Bathinda. Moreover the petitioner is ready to bear the expenses for surgery/treatment.

Order Accordingly, the present petition is disposed of with a direction to the respondents to allow the petitioner to undergo treatment/surgery from Max Hospital, Bathinda under the jail custody, for which the respondents shall provide the necessary security.

The various provisions (of the Act 1962, Amended Act 2015 and Rules 1963) and judicial approach towards the grant of pre-mature release of the prisoners has played a significant role in the rehabilitation and reformation of the prisoners and has become an integral part of modern prison system.

It is transitional step from mere custodial confinement to reformative treatment of offenders, by provided an opportunity to be a part of main stream of the society. Thus, having with the reformative approach towards the convicts/criminals, the parole is established as a major correctional process in the Indian criminal justice system and becomes tool of social rehabilitation of the prisoners.

References:
  1. 2009(3) SCC 409.
  2. Decided by Supreme Court of India on 11 September, 2017 in Civil Appeal no. 10464 of 2017
  3. 1987 (3) SCC 347.
  4. Inserted by The Punjab Good Conduct Prisoners (Temporary Release) Amendment Act 2015.
  5. Date of Decision 20 August, 2013 in CR.W.P no. 1531 of 2013 by Honb’le Punjab and Haryana High Court
  6. Date of decision in CRWP no. 2561- 2019 on 21 January, 2020 By Hon’ble Punjab and Haryana High Court
  7. Date of Decision in CWP no. 5183 of 2018 on 7 March, 2018 Ordered by Hon’ble Punjab and Haryana High Court.
  8. Date of Decision in CR.W.P no. 1432 of 2016 on 22 November, 2016 by Punjab and Haryana High Court.
  9. Date of decision in CR.W.P no. 699 of 2014 on 13 November, 2014 by The Hon’ble High Court Of Punjab and Haryana.
  10. Decided on 20 May, 2015 by The High Court of Punjab and Haryana in CRWP no. 522 of 2015.

Written By: Raminder Singh (Advocate) BA, LL.B, LL.M. District Bar Association Ludhiana (Punjab)
E Mail- [email protected] 

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