11 Feb 2021 10:39 AM GMT
While dealing with a case wherein there was an inordinate delay in deciding the parole application of the petitioner, the Punjab & Haryana High Court on Tuesday (09th February) asked the Punjab Government if a Mechanism could be worked out so that such applications are decided at the earliest. The Bench of Justice Rajan Gupta and Justice Karamjit Singh was hearing the...
While dealing with a case wherein there was an inordinate delay in deciding the parole application of the petitioner, the Punjab & Haryana High Court on Tuesday (09th February) asked the Punjab Government if a Mechanism could be worked out so that such applications are decided at the earliest.
The Bench of Justice Rajan Gupta and Justice Karamjit Singh was hearing the parole application dated 16th December 2020 filed by one Rajivir Singh which was pending with the authorities and no decision was taken thereon.
In this backdrop, the Court asked the Additional Advocate General of Punjab State about the reasons for inordinate delay in deciding the parole application of the petitioner.
To this, the AAG sought for some time to seek instructions from the Additional Chief Secretary (Homes) and the Director General of Police (Prisons).
He was also asked by the Court whether any mechanism can be worked out for the authorities to visit jail premises at regular intervals to dispose of such applications?
He submitted that he would seek instructions about this as well. With this, the Court posted the matter for further hearing on Friday (12th February 2021).
The Punjab and Haryana High Court in the year 2018 had reiterated the timelines prescribed for grant of parole to offenders.
Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain noted that even though a timeline had been laid down for disposal of pending parole and furlough applications, it was not being followed.
"As a matter of fact, as it has generally been seen by this Court that the said time period is not being followed and it is admitted by the Learned State counsel that the applications received through post are registered in the register maintained but the applications delivered by hand are not so registered."
In the year 2018, the Delhi High Court had asked the Government to expeditiously decide upon prisoners' parole pleas and give reasons in cases of delays.
The Court had further noted that delays in deciding the applications for parole or furlough could result in "irreparable loss to the convicts".
A Bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and C. Hari Shankar had said,
"There can be no justification for the unwarranted delay in disposing of the applications of the convicts".
In the year 2018, the Kerala High Court had also observed that delaying action on applications filed by prisoners for parole amounts to violation of fundamental rights and would attract contempt of court proceedings.
In related news, recently the Allahabad expressed its displeasure over the fact that even after 14 years of incarceration, the State did not think of exercising its power of commuting life sentence of an accused.
The Allahabad High Court directed the Uttar Pradesh Government to revaluate cases for remission after 14 years of incarceration (even if appeals are pending before the High Court).
The Bench of Justice Dr. Kaushal Jayendra Thaker and Justice Gautam Chowdhary also directed the Registrar General to place the matter before the Chief Justice so that it could be ensured that those who are in jail for more than 10 or 14 years get their appeal heard which are mainly jail appeals.
Case title - Rajvir Singh alias Raja v. State of Punjab and another [CRWP-838-2021 (O&M)]
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