The court rejected the prayer for agricultural parole as the petitioner was a hardcore prisoner and did not complete the requisite custody period: High court of Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh

A criminal writ petition (it is an order given by the higher courts to a lower court directing them to act or stop them from certain activity) under certiorari (writ, where a higher court reviews an order given in the lower court) was filed. However, the request for agricultural parole was rejected by the courts. This judgment and final order were given on 2/07/2021 by the high court of Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh consisting of Hon’ble MR. Justice Jaswant Singh and Hon’ble MR. justice Rajesh Bhardwaj, in the case Rahul vs. state of Haryana and others CRWP-1572-2020 the court proceedings were held through a virtual platform due to COVID -19. A prayer was given to the courts for quashing the order dated 18/11/2019.  Mr. Rahul (the petitioner) had filed for a criminal writ petition under article 226/227 of the constitution of India in the nature of certiorari. 

 An order was passed on 18/11/2019 where respondent No. 4 declined the prayer to grant six weeks parole to the petitioner. The petitioner here further prayed for the courts to grant six-week agriculture parole for maintaining and harvesting the wheat crop. According to the petition filed, An FIR No. 28 was filed on 09/02/2016   where the petitioner (Rahul) was convicted and sentenced to 12 years rigorous imprisonment under section 363 of the Indian penal code i.e., Kidnapping and maiming a minor for purposes of begging and under section 376 IPC which states the punishment for rape. Also, under section 6 of the POCSO Act (POCSO Act,2012 is a comprehensive law to provide protection for the children from the offenses of sexual assault and harassment and safeguarding the interest of the children) section 6 of the POCSO Act, punishment for aggravated penetrative sexual assault. He was also convicted under section 3(1)(xii) of the SC/ST act registered in the police station. The father of the petitioner filed an application to grant six weeks of parole for his convicted son (Rahul, the present petitioner). The petitioner further placed a record wherein the gram panchayat and Namberdar have supported the prayer laid by the petitioner.

The case further reveals that an FIR was filed against the petitioner at the police station in the city Jagadhri, under Section 42 of the prisoner’s act (Penalty for introduction or removal of prohibited articles into or from prison and communication with prisoners) because, during the imprisonment of the petitioner, the custody of a mobile phone was recovered from the petitioner. The order made by the previous court has mentioned that according to the parole amened act,2015 the petitioner falls in the category of hardcore prisoners.  In view of the Haryana good conduct prisoners (temporary release) amended act,2015, a prisoner can be released only after the completion of two years of custody as under trial and three years of custody after conviction therefore a total of five years of custody must be completed by the prisoner. Here the petitioner (Rahul) had completed only two years under trial and hence short of three years after conviction.

 Therefore, the court concluded that the petitioner falls under hardcore prisoner and the petitioner has failed to complete the requisite custody period. The court decided to not interfere in the Impugned Order. The request for agricultural parole was rejected by the court. The court said, “we find it appropriate to dismiss the petition as infructuous, however, with liberty to the petitioner to approach the appropriate authority for the redressal of his grievances in accordance with the law.”

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