Chhattisgarh High Court: Sanjay K Agrawal J., set aside the impugned order having no substantial reason for rejecting parole of a female convict having committed offence under Section 302 of Penal Code, 1860.

The factual matrix of the case is that petitioner’s application for grant of leave on parole under Rules 4 and 6 of the Chhattisgarh Prisoners Leave Rules, 1989  was rejected by the District Magistrate vide the impugned order only on the ground that the Superintendent of Police has objected on petitioner’s release on parole and the offence which she has committed under Section 302 IPC is a serious offence and except that, no such reason has been assigned and hence the impugned order is under challenge in the present petition.

Counsel for the petitioner submitted that no substantial reason has been assigned by the District Magistrate for rejecting the parole application and hence the impugned order is liable to be set aside.

Counsel for the State submitted that District Magistrate has clearly recorded a finding that petitioner’s release on parole would be detrimental to the public interest as she has murdered her husband which is a very serious crime, therefore, she is not entitled to be released on parole.

High Court relied on Rakesh Shende v. State of Chhattisgarh, Writ Petition (Cr) No. 29 of 2016 decided on 18-11-2016 wherein it was held that Rule 4 of the Chhattisgarh Prisoners Leave Rules, 1989 provides for conditions of leave. Rule 6 provides for Sanctioning Authority for first leave and a Note has also been appended to it. Rules 4 and 6 of the Rules of 1989 state as under:

“…4. Conditions of Leave. The prisoners shall be granted leave under subsection (1) of Section 31A of the Act on the following conditions, namely:

(a) He fulfills the conditions laid down in Section 31A of the Act;

(b) He has not committed any offences in jail between the date of application for leave and receipt of the order of such leave;

(c) The releasing authority must be satisfied that the leave may be granted without detriment to the public interest;

(d) He gives in writing to the Releasing Authority the place or places which he intends to visit during the period of his leave and undertake not to visit any other place during such period without obtaining prior permission of the Releasing Authority in that behalf; and

(e) He should furnish security to the satisfaction of the Releasing Authority if such security is demanded by the Releasing Authority.

 6. Sanctioning Authority for first leave. (a) If the District Magistrate, after making such enquiry as he may consider necessary, is satisfied that the request for grant of leave can be granted without detriment to public interest, he shall issue to the Superintendent a duly signed and sealed warrant in Form ‘A’ to the prisoner. The District Magistrate shall enter in the warrant the number of days that will be required for the journeys by the shortest practicable route to and from the place at which during his leave the prisoner proposes to reside or if he proposes to visit more than one place, the fartherest place from the Jail which he proposed to visit.

Note: The District Magistrate is responsible for the proper carrying out of these instructions. He may of course, consult the District Superintendent of Police on the advisability of granting the leave. The Superintendent of Police should also obtain the opinion of the Gram Panchayat of the village, where the prisoner resided before conviction and send to the District Magistrate along with his report. But the responsibility for the action is that of the District Magistrate. He should use his discretion and should refuse to grant leave only in cases in which he is satisfied that release is fraught with danger to the public safety….”

The Court observed that petitioner’s application for grant of leave on parole was rejected on the ground that the offence committed under Section 302 of the IPC is a serious offence and the Superintendent of Police and the concerned Gram Panchayat have objected to petitioner’s release on parole.

The Court held that the offence committed by the petitioner though is a serious offence yet as per the law, if her release is not detrimental to the public interest and it fulfils the requirement for the grant of parole, she is entitled to be released on parole as she is in jail for more than three years and ten months and her conduct is shown to be good. In light of the aforesaid observations, parole was granted.

In view of the above, impugned order set aside and petition disposed off.[Sarita Rajwade v. State of Chhattisgarh, 2020 SCC OnLine Chh 481, decided on 29-10-2020]

Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has put this story together

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