15 Jun 2023 3:59 AM GMT
The Gujarat High Court has rejected Narayan Sai's application seeking furlough. Sai, a convict in a rape case, has undergone a sentence of over nine years.“If one who has been found guilty of such an offence is released on furlough, there is no guarantee that he will not indulge in similar activity as soon as he is enlarged. None of the twin objects of punishment of imprisonment would then...
The Gujarat High Court has rejected Narayan Sai's application seeking furlough. Sai, a convict in a rape case, has undergone a sentence of over nine years.
“If one who has been found guilty of such an offence is released on furlough, there is no guarantee that he will not indulge in similar activity as soon as he is enlarged. None of the twin objects of punishment of imprisonment would then be served. Neither would he be reformed nor would the society remain immunised from his criminal activity. It would be dangerous to the society to release him on furlough merely out of considerations of penal reform and humane treatment,” Justice Nisha Thakore observed.
Narayan Sai, the son of self-styled godman Asaram Bapu, was arrested on 04.12.2013 in connection with an FIR under Sections 376(2)(C), 377, 354, 344, 357, 342, 323, 504, 506(2), 508, 120(B), 212, 153 and 114 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
During the hearing, Advocate Zubin Bharda, representing Sai, argued that the petitioner has already spent nearly 9 years and 8 months in custody and has been released on temporary bail and furlough four times in the past, with no reported instances of disturbance to public peace and tranquillity. Bharda contended that the apprehension expressed by the state authorities regarding Sai's potential disruption to public peace lacks any basis.
The respondent state authority had rejected the application of the petitioner seeking furlough mainly on four grounds, i.e., persistent threat to the witnesses in the pending criminal cases; criminal antecedents of the petitioner; his conduct in jail, and finally the apprehension that he may abscond. Additional Public Prosecutor, Advocate R.C. Kodekar, highlighted the unfavourable jail conduct of the petitioner, as reported by the jail authority.
The court took into consideration the DGP's order, which cited reasons such as negative opinions from the jail superintendent, Sai's alleged engagement in illegal activities within the jail, the potential for a law and order problem due to his large number of followers, and the possibility of him absconding from the country.
Examining the record, the Court noted that the petitioner was involved in multiple incidents of threatening witnesses, assaulting individuals, and engaging in illegal activities within the jail premises. The bench referred to specific incidents, including threats against the investigating officer and the assault of a complainant and her husband.
The court also highlighted the petitioner's lack of discipline while in jail and his involvement in coercive tactics against jail authorities. It also noted that Sai had previously been found guilty of abusing the court process by submitting a fake medical certificate.
“Having noticed such contemptuous conduct of the petitioner, no error can be found with the order of the State Authority refusing the furlough,” the court observed.
While placing reliance on the principles laid down by the High Court as well as by the Apex Court in various decisions, the court reiterated that while meting out humane treatment to the convicts, care is taken to ensure that kindness to the convicts does not result in cruelty to the society.
Case Title: Narayan @ Narayan Sai @ Mota Bhagwan S/O Asharam @ Ashumal Harpalani Versus State Of Gujarat
Case Citation: 2023 Livelaw (Guj) 99
Appearance: Mr. Zubin Bharda With Mr. Rajendra D Jadhav For The Applicant(S) No. 1 Mr. R.C.Kodekar, App Assisted By Ms. M.H.Bhatt, App For The Respondent(S) No. 1 Rule Served For The Respondent(S) No. 2, 3
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