Covid 19 Not A Valid Ground For Seeking Further Extension Of Parole Leave: Karnataka HC
The Karnataka High Court has refused to extend the parole leave of a life convict on the grounds that he is suffering from COVID-19 disease. A single bench of Justice Krishna S Dixit while dismissing the petition filed by Rashi Kumara who has been on parole leave since March 18. The court said, "The vehement submission of counsel for the petitioner that he has been suffering from...
The Karnataka High Court has refused to extend the parole leave of a life convict on the grounds that he is suffering from COVID-19 disease.
A single bench of Justice Krishna S Dixit while dismissing the petition filed by Rashi Kumara who has been on parole leave since March 18. The court said, "The vehement submission of counsel for the petitioner that he has been suffering from COVID-19 disease and that he needs another extension of parole for his complete recovery cannot be sustained. AGA is more than justified in submitting that adequate facilities are available in the jails and other Govt hospitals, for the diseased convicts who have been serving the sentence."
The court also junked the contention of the accused that the jails are overcrowded and therefore, his case be considered sympathetically. "It is too feeble a ground. No statistical data is produced for maintaining such a ground; even otherwise, in a populous society like ours, there may be some overcrowding in the jail that happens, inevitably. However, that is no ground for not serving the sentence," the court said.
The petitioner was convicted for the offences punishable u/s 302,120B, 324, 341, 427 r/w 34 of the Indian Penal Code 1860. He was released on parole on 19.03.2021 for a period of 30-days, in terms of Standing Orders of Director General of Police, Prisons & Correctional Services and by Chief Superintendent of Central Prison.
He got extension of the parole for the same period vide order dated 05.08.2021; similarly he secured a second extension vide order dated 31.08.2021 for another spell of 30 days which came to an end on 05.10.2021. He made a representation dated 28.09.2021 before Respondent 1 for extension of parole for another 60 days, on the ground of COVID related health issues in support, which came to be rejected and thus he approached the court.
While dismissing the petition the court noted, "It is a well settled principle of criminal jurisprudence that release of a convict on parole or furlough cannot be sought as a matter of right. A convict after undergoing the awarded punishment purges the guilt; the society and the victims of the offence have a strong justifiable expectation that the offender should serve the full sentence. Releasing the life convicts on parole or furlough intermittently offends the sense of Justice and that shakes the confidence of right thinking members of the public in the administration of Criminal Justice System; this is not a happy thing to happen in a civil society."
Further it said, "The grant of intermittent parole or furlough apart from generating a sense of insecurity to the victims of the offence, would create an avoidable expectation (although not legitimate) amongst the inmates of the gaol; that may graduate to a kind of right to parole on the principle of parity which again is detrimental to the interest of civil society; after all, parole & furlough are in the nature of an apology to the conviction & sentence."
It added, "Provisions of parole/furlough are structured on humanistic grounds for the reprieve of those lodged in gaols; the main purpose of releasing a convict on parole is to afford to him an opportunity to solve his personal and family problems and to enable him to maintain his links with the civil society; there may be cases of health grounds too; be that whatever, release on parole/furlough cannot be claimed as a matter of right, repeated extension of parole has very many disadvantages to the administration of criminal justice system. The petitioner has already availed the benefit of multiple paroles/extensions."
Accordingly it ordered, "The petitioner shall report back to the jail on or before 11.10.2021, 3.30 pm at the latest. Failing which, he shall be apprehended and driven to the jail."
Case Title: Rashi Kumara v. The Director General Of Police Prisons & Correctional Services.
Case No: Writ Petition No.18216 of 2021
Date of Order: 7th Day Of October, 2021
Advocate Monesh Kumar K.B, for petitioner
Advocate Vinod Kumar.M, for respondent.