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No Furlough for Convict Undergoing Imprisonment Without Remission, Delhi HC

The Delhi HC on July 3, 2020 {SANJAY KUMAR VALMIKI vs STATE} held that parole is a discretionary remedy whereas furlough is a salutary right and can be granted if the conditions prescribed therein are fulfilled. 

The Single Judge of Delhi High Court, Justice Mukta Gupta, held that as long as the Rules remain and a prisoner/convict does not qualify the pre-requisites for grant of furlough, he/she cannot be granted furlough. It was held that as the period on furlough is counted towards the sentence undergone as provided under Rule 1199, grant of furlough to a convict who cannot be granted remission for a particular period would amount to granting the relief as forbidden by the order on sentence. It was held that it is trite law that where a power is given to do a certain thing in a certain way, the thing must be done in that way or not at all. 

The issue that arose in present Writ Petition before the HC was whether a convict who has been awarded imprisonment for life with direction that no remissions will be granted for a period of 25 years can be granted furlough?

The HC held that though in the present decision the Court is not dealing with the issue of grant of parole, however, it would be appropriate to note that as per the Delhi Prison Rules, a convict can be considered for parole for one month after six months have elapsed from the first parole. It was held that thus a convict can be considered for roughly two paroles in an year to meet to exigency including to re-establish social ties. It was held that the availability of parole to re-establish social ties and family links is a reformative approach. It was held merely because a category of convicts with specific stipulation in the order on sentence being not entitled to three furloughs in an year totaling to seven weeks cannot be said to be a non-reformative approach as the remedy of parole is still available to them including to re-establish family ties.

Consequently, the HC concluded that issue raised in the two petitions that whether a convict who has been awarded sentence for a particular period or for life with the stipulation that no remission will be granted to him in that period is entitled to furlough or not, is answered in the negative. It was held that the petitioners are thus not entitled to grant of furlough. Petitions were accordingly disposed of by HC.

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