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For awarding a major punishment to the prisoner, he should be given notice in writing showing the cause of the alleged violation of the jail rules: High Court of Delhi

The order of punishment for violation of the jail rules, should be communicated to the concerned prisoner in writing. Where such information, on account of exigency is difficult to be forwarded immediately, be given within 2 days of finding and the same was upheld by High Court of Delhi through the learned bench led by JUSTICE PRATEEK JALAN in the case of PRAVEEN RANA vs. STATE (GOVT OF NCT OF DELHI) [W.P.(CRL) 242/2022] on 29.03.2022.

The facts of the case are that by way of this writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution, the petitioner assails a punishment order issued by the Jail Superintendent, Central Jail-14, Mandoli, Delhi, whereby the punishment of stoppage of mulaqaat for the period of one month was imposed upon the petitioner. The petitioner was convicted of the offence under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, arising out of FIR registered at Police Station Samaipur Badli. The petitioner’s appeal against the aforesaid order is pending before this Court. In the said appeal, the petitioner made an application for interim bail on the ground that he had to undergo surgery for varicose veins. However, the Status Report recorded that the petitioner did not surrender on time and was re-arrested following which he was produced before the Duty Magistrate.

The learned counsel appearing on behalf of petitioner submitted that the Judicial Appraisal order was not brought to the knowledge of the petitioner, which is why it does not find mention in the writ petition. Although the period of punishment has already been undergone by the petitioner, it was submitted that the punishment was imposed contrary to the procedure contemplated in the Delhi Prison Rules, 2018 and seeks remand to the jail authorities for reconsideration of the matter.

The learned counsel appearing on behalf of respondent reported that convict was granted Interim Bail for a period of 4 weeks granted by the Hon’ble DHC. The convict was released and the date of surrender was fixed for 25.12.2020 but he didn’t surrender on time. Hence, in view of above, the convict has violated terms & condition mentioned in the Interim Bail and the jail rules and he may be punished as per provisions of Delhi Jail Manual, 2018.

The court held that as the petitioner is now fully aware of the charge against him, the issuance of a show cause notice at this stage is dispensed with. However, the respondent authorities will issue a notice to the petitioner for a post facto hearing before the Jail Superintendent.

It was observed that, “For award of major punishment the prisoner should be given notice in writing, calling him to show cause with reference to the alleged violation of the jail rules. The order of punishment should also be communicated to the concerned prisoner. Where such information, on account of exigency is difficult to be forwarded immediately, be given within 2 days of finding. The Superintendent shall satisfy himself that every punishment so ordered, is duly carried into effect in accordance with law.”

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Judgment reviewed by – Shristi Suman

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