The Principal Bench of the Madras High Court on Monday extended the subsistence of the interim orders passed by it, that were subsisting as on March 20, till June 30, 2020.
It may be noted however that the orders relating to parole/leave granted by the High Court to the life and other convicts, as a temporary measure to decongest prisons, have only been extended up till June 8, 2020.
The order has been passed by a bench comprising of Justice M. Sathyanarayanan and Justice Abdul Quddhose, in the backdrop of the stigma attached to convicts. The order states,
"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."
Following this order, a division bench comprising of Justice PN Prakash and Justice B. Pugalendhi of the Madurai Bench of the High Court also extended various interim orders passed by it till June 30, 2020, except orders relating to grant of parole/leave, which are extended only till June 8, 2020.
The remand orders, both Section 167 CrPC and Section 309 CrPC have also been extended till June 30, 2020, in view of the difficulty in production of remand prisoners before the Courts, either in person or via video conferencing.
As regards the extension of period of limitation, the Bench said, the issue has was settled by the Supreme Court in In Re-Cognizance For Extension Of Limitation and that the Court is bound by the orders passed by the Supreme Court in this regard from time to time.
Both the Benches have decided to reconsider their orders regarding extension of parole/leave of convicts on June 8, 2020.
Yesterday, the High Court had announced that its Madurai Bench will re-open for physical hearings, in a "staggered manner". The detailed story may be Read Here.
Click Here To Download Madras HC Principal Bench Order
Click Here To Download Madurai Bench Order