Guj HC | Order granting parole to a convict with police escort, to attend his son’s marriage, held unreasonable

Gujarat High Court: Umesh A. Trivedi, J. allowed parole leave application which sought to grant of parole without a police escort. The application was filed on the grounds that if a convicted father needs to attend the marriage of his son, parole along with a police escort is not reasonable and the police escort should not be appointed.

The applicant along with two others convicted in a joint trial sought parole leave to attend the marriage of his son. An order was produced before the Court passed by the competent authority releasing him on parole leave for 12 days to attend the marriage. However, the order directing release was with police escort. The applicant, hence, filed the parole leave application to attain the same without a police escort.

The learned Additional Public Prosecutor, J.K. Shah, submitted that before the competent authority grants parole, it verifies the reason for which the leave is pleaded and hence it pre-supposes that it has been found to be genuine. It was further submitted that though the parole leave application for the other two applicants reached the competent authority before the first applicant, it was not granted on the spacious ground of “due to non-receipt of opinion from police”.

The Court observed that several orders of the competent authority stated that if police opinion was not received within 15 days, it shall be presumed to be in negative; and on that ground, it had rejected several applications. However, in this case, the competent authority sent a reminder to the police. Since the competent authority had granted 12 days parole leave to the first applicant on the ground of marriage, this application for parole leave by all the three applicants was also granted for 12 days without a police escort. Therefore, the order passed by the competent authority, in respect of the first applicant ordering police escort, was modified.

The Court observed, “The release of applicant 1 for 12 days to attend the marriage function of his son with police escort is unreasonable. No father would like to go under a police escort to attend the marriage function of his son for 12 days.” Thus, the application was allowed and the parole without police escort was granted.[Dineshbhai Bhagvandas v. State of Gujarat, 2019 SCC OnLine Guj 944, decided on 23-05-2019]

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