Bombay HC denies early release to convict incarcerated for over 20 years

Parole is not an incentive and shall not be counted towards remission of sentence, says court

The Bombay High Court has refused to include the period of emergency parole while calculating the premature release of a convict who spent 20 years in prison.

A Division Bench of Justices S.S. Shinde and Manish Pitale was hearing a criminal petition filed by Inden alias Mohiddin Sayyed Ali Khan, who is lodged at Yerwada Open Prison. He was seeking a direction to the jail superintendent to include the period of emergency parole in his sentence while calculating his premature release under Section 432 (power to suspend or remit sentences) of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

Inden was arrested on November 8, 2002, and sentenced to life imprisonment for murder and rioting. The Home Department refused to release him prematurely and said he had to serve 26 years in prison, including remission. He was supposed to complete 26 years in November 2020, but due to the outbreak of COVID-19, and pursuant to a government notification, he was released on emergency parole in June 2020.

He contended that only five months of his sentence were left when he was released on emergency parole. He requested the jail superintendent to include that period while calculating his premature release. However, superintendent in-charge Swati Jogdand filed an affidavit in reply and said Inden was released on emergency parole for 45 days after which he was granted 30 days’ leave as extension on nine occasions. As per the record with the Home Department, his sentence, including remission, would end on July 15, 2022.

The court mentioned Rule 20 (parole not to be counted as remission of sentence) of the Prisons (Bombay Furlough and Parole) Rules and said parole is not an incentive and shall not be counted towards remission of the sentence. The affidavit said in the last four months, Inden did not report to the police station and publicly joined a political party because of which the atmosphere in Ambernath became tense. The court relied on Rule 20 and rejected the petition.

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