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Emergency Parole cannot be granted to criminals accused of serious offences: Bombay High Court

Prisoner convicted of serious offences shall not be granted emergency parole, held, a division bench of Justice VM Deshpande and Justice Amit B Borkar, while adjudicating the matter in Asgar Kadar Sheikh v. Mohd. Yakub Abdul Majid Nagul; [CRIMINAL WRIT PETITION NO. 253/2021].

The petitioners are convicts for offences punishable under Sections 302, 304, 307, 324, 326, 435, 120B and 34 of the Indian Penal Code, Section 151 of the Railways Act and Section 4 of the Protection of Public Properties Act. The said case is popularly known as 1996 Bombay Blast case. After having undergone the actual imprisonment of 23 years by the petitioner no. 1 and 18 years by the petitioner no. 2, the petitioners filed an application before the respondent for their release on emergency parole as per the amended provisions of Rule 19(1)(C)(ii) of the Maharashtra Prisons (Bombay Furlough and Parole) Rules, 1959. The application has been rejected by the impugned order dated 30/06/2020 mainly on the ground that the petitioners having been convicted under the Special Acts are not entitled to the benefit of emergency parole. The petitioners have therefore filed the present petition challenging the order of rejection of emergency parole. The petitioners have made categorical statement which reads as under: – “It is submitted that, petitioners are eligible to be released on emergency parole for a period of 45 days as they have surrendered on due date on last two occasions and there is no other embargo on their release. Therefore, petitioners deserve to be released on emergency parole for a period of 45 days.” Shri M.N. Ali, Advocate for the petitioners placed reliance on unreported judgment of this Court in Criminal W. P. No. 488/2020 (Mohd. Faruque Mohd. Yusuf vs. State of Maharashtra & ors.) by which this court remanded back the case of the co-accused to the jail authorities for fresh consideration. It is submitted that the petitioner in the said case being the co-convict along with present petitioners, same order needs to be passed in the present petition.

The Court upon considering the aforesaid facts stated that there is no merit in the petition and the same is dismissed: “In view of aforesaid facts and circumstances, the petitioners having surrendered late and having been convicted under the Special Acts namely the Railways Act and the Protection of Public Properties Act which in the context of other offences alleged against the petitioners become serious offences are not eligible for being released on emergency parole.”

Click here to read the judgment.

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