In News: Gurmeet Ram Rahim, the head of Dera Sacha Sauda, was released from Sunaria jail in Rohtak on a 40-day parole.
- Ram Rahim is serving a 20-year jail term after he was convicted in 2017 for raping two disciples in his ashram in Sirsa.
What is parole?
- Parole is a system of releasing a prisoner with suspension of the sentence.
- The release is conditional, usually subject to behaviour, and requires periodic reporting to the authorities for a set period of time.
- A broadly similar concept is furlough, which is given in case of long-term imprisonment.
Difference between parole and furlough
- While furlough is seen as a matter of right, to be granted periodically irrespective of any reason and merely to enable the prisoner to retain family and social ties, parole is not a matter of right and may be denied to a prisoner even when he makes out a sufficient case.
Why is parole given?
- The Supreme Court in ‘Asfaq vs State of Rajasthan and Others’ in 2017 said the main purpose of parole and furlough — a conditional temporary release, but with a benefit that such a period of release is considered part of the total sentence — is to afford a convict the opportunity to solve their personal and family problems and enable them to maintain their links with society.
Who is entitled to it?
- Each state has its own parole policy, which is slightly different from each other.
- Certain types of prisoners, non-Indian citizens, etc. who are convicted of crimes against the state or threaten national security are not eligible for parole.
- Persons convicted of murder, child rape, multiple murders, and other crimes are also exempt unless the issuing authorities make a specific decision.
- A convict must have served at least one year in jail, excluding any time spent in remission.
- The prisoner’s behavior had to be uniformly good.
- The criminal should not have committed any crimes during the period of parole if it was granted previously.
- The convict should not have broken any of the terms and restrictions of his or her previous release.
What is the process involved?
- Temporary release under provisions for parole or furlough is given by the state, but its decision can be challenged before a court of law.
- The Rules framed under the 1988 Act in 2007 state that a prisoner can seek temporary release by submitting an application before the Jail Superintendent who in turn will forward the application and a report of his to the District Magistrate.
- The District Magistrate will then forward the case with his recommendations to the Director General of Prisons for grant of parole or otherwise.
- In certain types of cases, the Divisional Commissioners or District Magistrates can take decisions at their own level as per a notification issued by the government in 2017.
Source: Indian Express
Previous Year Question
Q.1) With reference to India, consider the following statements: (2021)
- When a prisoner makes out a sufficient case, parole cannot be denied to such prisoner because it becomes a matter of his/her right.
- State Governments have their own Prisoners Release on Parole Rules.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
- 1 Only
- 2 Only
- Both 1 and 2
- Neither 1 nor 2