Not all convicts can get privilege of parole, says high court.
In this post, we will discuss about the case where the Punjab and Haryana High Court declared that not all convicts can get the privilege of parole.
Facts of the case: In this case, On October 13, 2005 additional district and sessions Judge Vijay Singh who was serving as a presiding officer in the labor court was murdered by granthi Manjit Singh. As per the prosecution, he was paid Rs. 5 lakh for the murder by Ravdeep Kaur who wanted to marry him. On March 30, 2012 a Chandigarh court awarded life term to Dr. Ravdeep Kaur.
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Legal Issue: Whether all convicts can get the privilege of parole or not.
Legal Opinion: In her plea, Dr Ravdeep Kaur had sought directions for her release on parole for a period of six weeks and also for quashing the order dated September 3, 2020, passed by the district magistrate, Patiala rejecting her case for parole. She is presently undergoing life imprisonment in Central Jail, Patiala. During the hearing of the case, the HC was informed that she was earlier released on two week emergency parole on December 6, 2014, and was due to surrender on December 21, 2014, but she misused the concession and was arrested on February 4, 2015, from the Nepal border, allegedly along with certain fake documents. Her counsel stated that her request for grant of parole has been wrongly declined by the district magistrate, Patiala. In fact, it could be declined by the authorities only on the ground mentioned under Section 6 of the Punjab Good Conduct Prisoners (Temporary Release) Act, 1962, i.e. when her release is likely to endanger the security of the state government or maintenance of public order.
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Decision of the Court: As per the facts of the case, the plea filed by Dr. Ravdeep Kaur was dismissed on the basis that rights are classified under two categories of either, being a Fundamental Right under the Constitution, or a statutory right granted by the statute. On the other hand, a privilege is granted by the state under certain conditions and can equally be taken away by the state. The privilege can be given on certain specific grounds. Considering that she had jumped the parole earlier and was arrested from the Nepal border while making an attempt to flee from the country, the bench observed that there are chances that she may escape from the country if granted parole. Considering the facts, there are chances of the petitioner evading the process of law and likelihood of the petitioner to escape from the country, in an illegal manner, as such, cannot be ruled out. Precisely, on this account, it shall not be appropriate to accept the request of the petitioner for releasing her on parole. Parole is a part of the reformative theory of punishment. It is not necessary that all the convicts must have this privilege extended to them. These benefits can be refused, in case; refusal is based on intelligible differentia and has a nexus to the object of the Rules. A refusal cannot be violative of Article 14 of the Constitution. This was stated by a division bench, comprising Justice Anil Kshetarpal and Justice Archana.
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Conclusion: As per the facts of the case, the Punjab and Haryana high court has made it clear that parole is a part of the reformative theory of punishment and it is not necessary that all the convicts should get this privilege. Prisoners, according to the HC, cannot claim privilege. Prisoners, according to the HC, cannot claim privileges or remission and parole as their vested rights.
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