HC quashes judge's order penalising convict for jumping parole

HC quashes judge's order penalising convict for jumping parole

Observing that it is passed casually and without application of mind, the Bombay High Court has set aside an order which had penalised a life convict who jumped parole, by cancelling his remission for 515 days and removing him from remission system for 10 years.

A bench headed by Justice Abhay Oka described the impugned order of December 3, 2002, passed by a Sessions Judge as a ruling given with "non-application of mind".
"We may note here that when the learned Sessions Judge makes a judicial appraisal of the proposed penalty to be inflicted on the prisoner, he (the Judge) is expected to apply his mind to the material on record.

"He must record brief reasons after consideration of the record. Only after a reasoned order of appraisal is passed by the learned Sessions Judge that the punishment can be imposed," said the bench in a recent judgement.

"In the present case, non-application of mind is writ large on the face of the impugned order. We, therefore, set aside the impugned order with a direction to the Competent Authority to pass a fresh order after a fresh judicial appraisal by the learned Sessions Judge," the bench observed.

The High Court also gave a time frame of three months for the competent authority to pass a fresh order and kept all the contentions on merits open.

47-year-old Vaity, who is serving life imprisonment in Yerwada Prison in Pune, was convicted on May 15, 1992 in a murder case. His appeal was dismissed on April 7, 1994.
On January 21, 1997, Vaity was released on parole and the period was extended from time to time which expired on April, 20, 1997.

Vaity said he could not surrender in time as he was required to look after his ailing father who was suffering from paralysis. He was arrested on December 8, 2001, and taken to jail.

Vaity was issued a show cause notice as to why he should not be penalised for breaching conditions of parole. He replied on December 18, 2001 and almost a year later he was penalised. Being aggrieved, he filed a petition in the High Court challenging the order.

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