Nagpur, Jan 30 (PTI) The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court has refused to grant parole to a prisoner convicted under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, noting that convicts of "terrorist crimes" are not eligible for parole, as per rules in Maharashtra.
A division bench of Justices S B Shukre and M W Chandwani on December 2, 2022 dismissed a petition filed by convict Hasan Mehndi Sheikh, serving life imprisonment in the Amravati Central Prison, seeking regular parole to see his ailing wife.
Sheikh was convicted for various offences including under stringent provisions of the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA).
He approached the HC after the jail authorities rejected his application on the ground that he was not eligible for grant of parole under provisions of the Prisons (Bombay Furlough and Parole) Rules.
The high court in its order noted that there was a specific provision in the Rules which disqualifies a convict under TADA from getting benefit of regular parole.
“It is clear that there is a bar placed upon prisoners who are convicted for terrorist crimes, TADA is about terrorist crime, from being released on regular parole,” the court said.
“The petitioner is convicted under TADA and therefore he would not be eligible for grant of regular parole,” the HC added.
Sheikh had in his plea relied on a 2017 judgment of the Supreme Court holding that even if a convict is found to be guilty under the TADA provisions, this would not disqualify him from seeking regular parole.
The high court, however, refused to accept this and said the prisoner in the SC case was from Rajasthan and hence not governed by the Rules for prisoners in Maharashtra.
“The apex court has acknowledged the fact that many state governments have formulated guidelines on parole in order to bring out objectivity in the decision making and to decide as to whether parole needs to be granted in a particular case or not,” the HC said. PTI CLS SP GK GK