Prisons (Bombay Furlough & Parole) Rules, 1959- Prisoners Convicted Under TADA Not Eligible For Grant Of Regular Parole: HC
The Bombay High Court has observed that prisoners who are convicted under Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, 1987 are not eligible for grant of regular parole under Rule 19(3) of the Prisons (Bombay Furlough & Parole) Rules 1959.
“…there is a bar placed upon the prisoners who are convicted for, inter alia, terrorist crime, TADA is about terrorist crime, for being released on regular parole.”, the bench of Justice Sunil B. Shukre and Justice M. W. Chandwani observed.
The Court made this observation while dealing with the plea of a TADA convict seeking his release on regular parole for the purpose of seeing his ailing wife.
Earlier his application seeking release on regular parole was rejected by Jail Superintendent on the ground that he is not eligible for grant of regular parole in terms of rule 4(13) read with rule 19 of the Prisons (Bombay Furlough and Parole) Rules, 1959.
The counsel for the petitioner submitted that the Apex Court in the case of Asfaq V/s. State of Rajasthan and others held that even if a convict is found to be guilty under the provisions of TADA, the conviction by itself would not disqualify him from seeking his release on regular parole.
Advocate Soniya Gajbhiye appeared for the Petitioner whereas APP I.J. Damle appeared for Respondent-State.
The High Court noted that in the case of Asfaq (supra), Ashfaq was a prisoner who was convicted under the provisions of TADA, the same conviction as has been awarded to the petitioner herein, but, Asfaq was a prisoner who was not governed by the guidelines stated in the Rules of 1959 governing prisoners in the State of Maharashtra.
The Court observed that the issue involved in this case has to be examined on the touchstone of the eligibility criteria prescribed in the Rules of 1959 for grant of regular parole.
The Court noted that there is a bar placed upon the prisoners who are convicted for, inter alia, terrorist crime, TADA, from being released on regular parole.
Thus the Court held that the petitioner convicted under TADA would not be eligible for grant of regular parole under rule 19(3) of the Rules of 1959.
Accordingly, the petition was dismissed.
Cause Title- Mo. Hasan Mehndi Hasan Sheikh v. State of Maharashtra & Ors.