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Updated: January 20, 2010 20:46 IST

Govt. files fresh guidelines for granting parole

Staff Reporter
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File picture of Manu Sharma, convicted in Jessica lal murder case.
AP File picture of Manu Sharma, convicted in Jessica lal murder case.

The Delhi Government on Wednesday filed amended guidelines in the Delhi High Court to regulate grant of parole.

The Government filed the amended guidelines after the Court had in December last expressed surprise over inclusion of almost all crimes in the earlier guidelines for debarring prisoners from availing of parole, saying that no prisoner would be able to get it.

The amended guidelines state that there would be two kinds of parole, custody and regular parole, which convicts can apply for.

Custody parole would be granted in case of death or marriage or serious illness of a family member or in any other emergent circumstances.

It will be granted for a period of not more than six hours, and such prisoners would be deemed to be in prison for the period, the guidelines filed before a Division Bench of the Court comprising Justice A.P. Shah and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw say.

Regular parole will be granted, among other circumstances, in case of serious illness of a family member or critical conditions in the family on account of accident or death of a family member or serious damage to life or property.

The guidelines further say that the aim of granting parole is to enhance continuity of relationship of prisoners with family members; maintain a minimum level of their self-worth and confidence; protect their social ties; combat their inner stress and develop a positive attitude and interest in life among them.

In case of an appeal by a convict against his or her conviction pending before the High Court, parole will not be granted. He or she can approach the Court for an appropriate order, the guidelines say.

Those convict whose release on parole is considered dangerous or a threat to national security will not be granted parole. Besides, prisoners who have been involved in crimes and offences against the State or have escaped from jail or have been convicted for the rape-cum-murder charges or for rape and murder of children and have been convicted for multiple murders are not eligible for parole, the guidelines clarify.

The Bench will consider the guidelines and pass an order on Thursday.

The Government filed the guidelines following a suggestion by the Court. It had last year asked the Government whether it could frame guidelines to end discrimination in the grant of parole.

The Court had sought the opinion of the Government while hearing a petition by a group of Tihar Jail inmates complaining about alleged unnecessary delay in processing their applications for parole.

The bias in giving parole came into sharp focus when Jessica Lall murder convict Manu Sharma was granted parole on flimsy grounds.

Following this, a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice A. P. Shah and Justice S. Muralidhar had charged the Government with being class biased in granting parole to Manu Sharma while sitting over the pleas of underprivileged prisoners.

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