Q. With reference to India, consider the following statements:
1. When a prisoner makes out a sufficient case, parole cannot be denied to such prisoner because it becomes a matter of his/her right.
2. state Governments have their own Prisoner Release on Parole Rules.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
Why this question:
- Recently, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has revised the Model Prison Manual, 2016 guidelines related to parole and furlough.
- Recently, the Supreme Court expressed concern over convicts languishing in jail despite being entitled to remission of sentences while hearing a case of a murder convict jumping furlough.
Exp) Option b is correct.
Statement 1 is incorrect. Parole is a system of releasing a prisoner with suspension of the sentence. Parole cannot be claimed as a matter of right. Parole may be denied to a prisoner even when he makes out sufficient cause for release on parole.
Parole is to be granted only on a sufficient cause such as cases of severe illness or death of any member of the prisoner’s family. The granting authority for parole is the deputy home secretary of the state government.
On the other hand, Furlough is seen as a matter of right for a prisoner, to be granted periodically irrespective of any reason. It is granted merely to enable the prisoner to retain family and social ties, and to counter the ill-effects of prolonged time spent in prison.
Both Parole and Furlough can be denied if the competent authority is of the opinion that releasing the inmate would not be in the interest of society.
Statement 2 is correct. State governments have their own Prisoner Release on Parole Rules. ‘Prisons’ is a State subject under the State List of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution.
The management and administration of prisons fall exclusively in the domain of state governments and are governed by the Prisons Act, 1894, and the Prison Manuals of the respective state governments.
The Prisons Act further says that only states can make rules regarding the release of prisoners on furlough, parole and remission, as part of the correctional process in jail reforms.