Furlough not prisoner’s right, says SC in Asaram son’s case

What is the News?

The Supreme Court has discussed the differences between ‘furlough’ and ‘parole’ and the principles relating to grant of them.

What was the case?

The Supreme Court made these observations while hearing an appeal filed by the State of Gujarat against a judgment of the Gujarat High Court. The Gujarat High Court granted two weeks’ furlough to a self-proclaimed godman and rape convict who is serving a life term imprisonment.

What did the Supreme Court say regarding furlough and parole?

The Supreme Court reversed the Gujarat High Court Order.

Further, the Supreme Court discussed the differences between ‘furlough’ and ‘parole’ and the principles relating to grant of them. The following are the differences:

Firstly, Furlough and parole envisage a short-term temporary release from custody

Secondly, 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.

Thirdly, 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.

Fourthly, although furlough can be claimed without a reason, the prisoner does not have an absolute legal right to claim furlough.

Fifthly, the grant of furlough must be balanced against the public interest and can be refused to certain categories of prisoners.

Read more: System to track prisoners on parole

Source: This post is based on the article Furlough not prisoner’s right, says SC in Asaram son’s case” published in TOI on 22nd October 2021.

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