The object of the Section is not to condemn such persons but to ensure that having spent a substantial period of their sentence, they be permitted to come back into society, the bench said.
The Patna High Court, in Ravi Pratap Mishra vs. State of Bihar, has observed that merely because a person was convicted in a heinous offence, it is not a ground to deny privilege which the legislature has conferred on a convict of Section 432 of Code of Criminal Procedure.
In spite of getting no objection from the Jail Superintendent, Superintendent of Police and the Probationary Officer, the state Sentence Remission Board rejected the remission application of a convict as the trial judge objected to it. According to the trial judge, it is not just and proper to show any sympathy to the convict. The convict challenged this decision of the board before the high court.
Terming the opinion of trial judge as putting the cart before the horse and self-defeating, the court observed that Section 432 of CrPC itself comes into play only when a person has been convicted and has served substantial part of the sentence for having committed a heinous offence.
“Where he is not so convicted, the provision of Patna High Court Section 432 of CrPC itself does not come into play. It is only when a person is so convicted for such an offence that the question of premature release arises,” the bench comprising Justice Navaniti Prasad Singh and Justice Vikash Jain said.
The court also held that the opinions of the Jail Superintendent, the Superintendent of Police, the Probationary Officer, the trial judge are guiding factors to enable the state Sentence Remission Board to come to an independent opinion, but it is not bound by what is said in any one or all of the opinions.
“It is only when there is serious apprehension about their future conduct, serious and inevitable apprehension about their future conduct upon their release which is bona fide born out from the records that the Board would be legitimately justified in refusing to release the convict otherwise it is not bound by the opinion of the authorities though, as noted above, they are guiding factors to be taken into account,” said the court, while setting aside the decision of a board rejecting the remission application of a convict who spent 15 years in jail.
Read the Judgment here.