New Delhi [India], April 30 (ANI): The Supreme Court has observed that whole of the scheme of granting furlough is based on the approach of reformation and as an incentive for maintaining good conduct and asked concerned authorities to re-examine the request of granting furlough of a murder convict.
A bench of justices Dinesh Maheshwari and Aniruddha Bose observed, “The whole of the scheme of granting furlough is based on the approach of reformation and as an incentive for maintaining good conduct.”
The court noted eligibility for getting remission is not a pre-requisite for obtaining furlough.
The top court observation came while allowing the appeal of a man to restore for reconsideration of his request for grant of furlough and setting aside the order dated August 2, 2021, as passed by the High Court of Delhi and the order dated October 21, 2019, as passed by the Director-General of Prisons, Prison Headquarters, Tihar Jail.
The court has said that a fresh report may be requisitioned from the jail authorities and the matter may proceed in accordance with the law. And expected that a decision in the matter will be taken expeditiously by the Director-General of Prisons.
The convict Atbir, who is serving the sentence of imprisonment for the whole of his natural life after commuting of death sentence by the President of India, has preferred this appeal on being aggrieved by the order dated August 2, 2021, as passed by the Single Judge of Delhi High Court dismissing his writ petition against the order dated October 21, 2019, as issued by the Director-General of Prisons, Prison Headquarters, Tihar, Janakpuri, New Delhi declining his prayer to grant furlough.
The prayer of the appellant for grant of furlough has been declined by the orders essentially with reference to the conditions of the order dated November 15, 2012 issued by the President of India on a mercy petition whereby, even while modifying the death sentence as awarded to the appellant to the one of imprisonment for life.
It was provided that the appellant would remain in prison for the whole of the remainder of his natural life without parole and there shall be no remission of the term of imprisonment.
The contention on behalf of the appellant essentially is to the effect that the aforesaid terms of the order dated November 15, 2012, are of no debarment, so far as his entitlement to furlough under the Delhi Prison Rules, 2018 is concerned.
“Thus, looking to the concept of furlough and the reasons for extending this concession to a prisoner lead us to hold that even if a prisoner like the appellant is not to get any remission in his sentence and has to serve the sentence of imprisonment throughout his natural life, neither the requirements of his maintaining good conduct are whittled down nor the reformative approach and incentive for good conduct cease to exist in his relation. Thus, if he maintains good conduct, furlough cannot be denied as a matter of course, ” the top court said.
“We would hasten to observe that whether furlough is to be granted in a given case or not is a matter entirely different. Taking the case of the appellant, he is a person convicted of multiple murders. Therefore, the requirement of Rule 1225 of the Rules of 2018 may come
into operation, ” the top court said.
However, the court remarked that it cannot be said that his case would never be considered for furlough. Whether he is to be given furlough on the parameters delineated therein or not is a matter to be examined by the authorities in accordance with the law, the top court observed.
“In view of the above, while disapproving blanket denial of furlough to the appellant in the orders impugned, we would leave the case of the appellant for grant of furlough open for examination by the authorities concerned in accordance with the law, ” the court said.
The Supreme court observed that eligibility for getting remission is not a pre-requisite for obtaining furlough. (ANI)