The Bombay High Court has held that a convict confined to open prison can be released on furlough by the sanctioning authority by doing away with the requirement of execution of bond by the relatives of the convict.
The bench of Justice PN Deshmukh and Justice MG Giratkar of the Nagpur bench followed the decision of a full bench of the Bombay High Court in Dipak Sudhakar Wakalekar v. State of Maharashtra and Ors.
The petitioner had challenged an order by the sanctioning authority rejecting his application for furlough as no relative came forward to act as a surety for him.
In April 2017, the petitioner, who is convicted for murder and serving a life sentence at the Open Prison in Yerwada, Pune, applied for 28 days furlough.
Petitioner convict’s lawyer GS Aggarwal submitted that his client was kept in an open prison due to his good behaviour and conduct in prison. He further submitted that the petitioner had earlier been released on furlough for 28 days and reported back on time. Therefore, as per the rule his application should be allowed, Aggarwal said.
In the full bench decision Dipak Sudhakar Wakalekar v. State of Maharashtra and Ors, the court held:
“In the light of the discussion made above, we hold that as per the proviso to Rule 6 of the Rules 1959, a convict confined in open prison can be released on furlough by the Sanctioning Authority by dispensing with the requirement of execution of bond by the relatives. Therefore, we hold that a convict confined in open prison can be released on parole by the authorities by dispensing with requirement of execution of bond by the relatives.”
Thus, the court concluded that the petitioner was entitled to furlough and directed the sanctioning authority to release him on a personal bond.