Observing that apart from that one solitary incident of breach of furlough leave amounting to 574 days, there has been no other incident, the Bombay High Court on Tuesday granted emergency parole of 45 days to Asha Tayade, who was convicted of murder and sentenced to life, serving her term at Yerwada Prison, Pune.
Division bench of Justice RD Dhanuka and Justice VG Bisht heard a petition filed by Asha's sister Shobha who sought emergency parole leave for Asha due to Covid-19. The petition contended that in the wake of the present crisis, her sister had applied for parole leave which came to be rejected on the ground that she had earlier not surrendered on time and surrendered only after a lapse of 574 days.
Petitioner's advocate Rupesh Jaiswal submitted that keeping in view the judgment of the Apex Court and as also Government Circular dated March 26, 2020 in the backdrop of Covid-19 pandemic the concerned authorities ought not to have rejected the application of Parole leave moved by the petitioner's sister.
Moreover, the petitioner's sister has already undergone 12 years and 6 months of actual imprisonment and including remission she has undergone more than 19 years. Thus she has undergone a substantial part of her sentence. In such a situation and having regard to the object of Emergency Parole leave and more particularly in the light of prevailing pandemic situation the petitioner's sister be released on emergency parole leave, Jaiswal argued.
He also assured the Court that hereinafter the petitioner shall not commit any breach of parole.
APP SR Shinde on the other hand, supported the order of rejection of parole application by the Superintendent of Yerwada Central Jail, Pune.
The bench noted-
"From the record, it appears that there was only one solitary incident of breach of furlough leave amounting to 574 days and except that there is nothing on record. Moreover and admittedly, the petitioner is undergoing life imprisonment for the offence punishable under section 302 which is an offence covered under Indian Penal Code and therefore, out of ambit of notification No.4400/2020 issued by Home Department, Government of Maharashtra."
As per the said notification, only those accused under special enactments like UAPA, MCOCA, PMLA etc are exempted from being released on emergency parole in order to decongest prisons to combat the rising number of coronavirus cases in jails as well.
Finally the Court concluded-
"We have taken into consideration the fact that the Petitioner has already undergone substantial part of life imprisonment which is more than 19 years and there is no serious challenge to this aspect from the side of prosecution. Keeping precisely this in mind and as also the pandemic situation we are of considered view that here is a case which deserves all consideration and Petitioner's sister, namely, Asha wife of Puna Tayade, Convict No.2465 in Yerwada Central Prison, Pune deserves to released on parole for 45 days under Emergency Parole Leave (Covid-19)."