Emergency parole of prisoners in Maharashtra will be automatically extended: Bombay HC

Prisoners released on emergency parole from jails in Maharashtra will continue to enjoy the leave as long as the notification, issued by Maharashtra government on May 8 for decongesting prisons in the wake of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, is in force.

The Bombay high court (HC) on Monday clarified that the emergency parole period would be automatically extended and the prisoners, who have been granted the leave, need not formally apply for getting it extended again.

A two-member HC bench, comprising Justices TV Nalawade and MG Sewlikar, said the May 8 notification itself stated that the emergency parole would be initially for a period of 45 days and later would be extended by slabs of 30 days each.

The bench said that there would be an automatic extension of the parole period as the notification is in force, and the prisoners on leave would not be required to submit formal applications for getting it extended.

“When there is automatic extension of the parole period, there is no need of giving application every time when it expires… No other interpretation is possible,” said the bench.

The bench was hearing applications filed by six inmates of Paithan and Visapur open prisons in Maharashtra’s Marathwada region, seeking extension of the emergency parole granted to them by the HC earlier.

The bench clarified that even the prisoners to whom emergency parole was granted by the HC need not file applications for getting it extended and their leaves would also get extended automatically.

The bench said the court granted emergency parole to the prisoners on the basis of the state government’s May 8 notification.

The notification is issued by the state home department to amend the Maharashtra Prisons (Furlough and Parole) Rules, 1959 in a bid to allow jail authorities to release certain category of prisoners on emergency parole and decongest jails following the raging Covid-19 pandemic.

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