The High Court of Madras on Monday recalled the parole orders of 11 convicts who were released from prisons subsequent to the order of a coordinate bench dated March 26, 2020, for decongestion of prisons amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
A bench comprising of Dr. Justice Vineet Kothari and Justice R. Suresh Kumar has ordered that the parole stands recalled/ cancelled and the convicted persons should surrender before the Superintendent of the Prisons concerned on or before June 15, 2020.
The order is passed in view of the assurances given by the Director General of Police that if the Prisoners, who are on Parole, are readmitted in the Prisons, they will be placed in quarantine in the earmarked separate blocks of respective prisons after proper screening.
On June 1, the High Court had extended the period of parole until June 8, 2020 while stating that the stigma attached to convicts may attract "retaliatory attacks".
"It is a well settled position of law that once there, the stigma attached to the conviction remains, unless it is set aside by the Appellate Forum. Once a person is convicted, presumption of innocence is no longer available to him/her.
…if convicts, especially, the life convicts remain at large, on account of interim orders of parole/leave granted by this Court, there is every likelihood of retaliatory attack in the form of grievous injury/death also," the order read.
The Court had thus decided to reconsider the order for extension of parole on June 8, 2020.
Through the said order, the High Court had also extended the life of all other interim orders, etc. till June 30. The matter will now be taken up on June 29, for further consideration.
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