Home » State of Gujarat v. Narayan @ Narayan Sai @ Mota Bhagwan Asaram @ Asumal Harpalani

State of Gujarat v. Narayan @ Narayan Sai @ Mota Bhagwan Asaram @ Asumal Harpalani

Furlough and Parole Rules (Bombay) – Rules 3 and 4 – When Prisoner may be granted furlough – When prisoners shall not be granted furlough – Denial of furlough on grounds of disturbance to public peace and tranquillity.

The Bombay Furlough and Parole Rules do not confer a legal right on a prisoner to be released on furlough. The grant of furlough is regulated by Rule 3 and Rule 4. While Rule 3 provides the eligibility criteria for grant of furlough for prisoners serving different lengths of imprisonment, Rule 4 imposes limitations. The use of the expression “may be released” in Rule 3 indicates the absence of an absolute right. This is further emphasised in Rule 17 which states that said Rules do not confer a legal right on a prisoner to claim release on furlough. Thus the grant of release on furlough is a discretionary remedy circumscribed by Rules 3 and 4 extracted above. [Para 15]

The principles may be formulated in broad, general terms bearing in mind the caveat that the governing rules for parole and furlough have to be applied in each context. The principles are thus:

(i) Furlough and parole envisage a short-term temporary release from custody;

(ii) While parole is granted for the prisoner to meet a specific exigency, furlough may be granted after a stipulated number of years have been served without any reason;

(iii) The grant of furlough is to break the monotony of imprisonment and to enable the convict to maintain continuity with family life and integration with society;

(iv) Although furlough can be claimed without a reason, the prisoner does not have an absolute legal right to claim furlough;

(v) The grant of furlough must be balanced against the public interest and can be refused to certain categories of prisoners.

Furlough and Parole Rules (Bombay) – Rule 4 (6).

Turning now to Rule 4(6) of the Rules, the Jail Superintendent has given a negative opinion based on the fact that the respondent kept a mobile phone inside the jail illegally and attempted to make contacts with the outside world. Rule 4(4) of the Rules provides for denial of furlough on grounds of disturbance to public peace and tranquillity. The order dated 8 May 2021 has adduced a number of circumstances which cumulatively indicate that the release of the respondent on furlough may lead to a violation of public peace. The order refers specifically to the threat he and his followers pose to the complainant and other persons who deposed at the trial. An attempt has been made to threaten and suborn the investigating team and the witnesses. The respondent and his father have a mass following of persons who owe loyalty to them and there is a reasonable apprehension of a disruption of public peace and tranquillity. During the trial, attempts have been made to bribe public officials. The conduct after the trial, in jail, has not been shown to be above reproach. The respondent was released earlier this year to accommodate a genuine need to attend to his mother’s health at the relevant time. Based on this, we are unable to agree with the line of reasoning of the High Court. [Para 25]

Court : SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
Coram : Dr. Dhananjaya Y. Chandrachud; J. B.V. Nagarathna, J.
Case Number : Criminal Appeal No. 1159 of 2021 (Arising out of SLP (Crl.) No. 5699 of 2021) October 20, 2021
Case Law : State of Gujarat v. Narayan @ Narayan Sai @ Mota Bhagwan Asaram @ Asumal Harpalani

For Appellant(s) Mr. Aniruddha P. Mayee, AOR

For Respondent(s) Mr. Sanjiv Punalekar, Adv. Mr. Suvidutt M.S., AOR Mr. Ankush Mahajan, Adv. Mr. Dharma Raj, Adv. Ms. Vijayalakshmi Raju, Adv. Mrs. Dhanya C., Adv. Mrs. Anu B., Adv.

Citations : JT 2021 (10) SC 306 : 2021 (12) SCALE 365

Case Link : https://pdf.caselaw.in/sc/2021/10/449/

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