Grant parole to Arun Gawli for wife’s surgery, says HC

Court quashes Divisional Commissioner’s order rejecting plea

The Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court recently granted relief to contract killer-turned-politician Arun Gawli, lodged in Nagpur Central Jail, and quashed the order rejecting his parole.

A Division Bench of Justices Z.A. Haq and Amit Borkar was hearing a criminal petition filed by Gawli, 68, against an order passed on March 3, by Divisional Commissioner of Nagpur division. The Commissioner rejected Gawli’s plea for grant of parole on the basis of an adverse police report in view of the Prisons (Bombay Furlough and Parole) Rules.

Gawli is convicted under Sections 302 (punishment for murder) and 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code along with Section 3 (punishment for organised crime) of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act and is undergoing imprisonment for life.

On December 26 last year, he had filed an application seeking parole for 45 days as his wife had to undergo a surgery on her left ear, after suffering from chronic suppurative otitis media (CSOM). The Commissioner called for a report from the Agripada police. In its report, the police said Gawli’s wife suffered from the illness mentioned in the plea and doctors at Mumbai’s Jaslok Hospital advised her to undergo a surgery. However, the report also stated that Gawli’s son and his wife’s relatives were capable of taking care of her.

On the basis of this, the police sent an adverse report and said, “Gawli is the leader of a syndicate and involved in a number of criminal activities.”

On the basis of the police report, the Commissioner told the court that if Gawli is released on parole there is danger to the complainants and witnesses and submitted a chart of dates when the gangster was released on furlough and parole.

The court said, “The report of enquiry prepared by the police does not dispute the fact of necessity of surgery of the wife. Taking into consideration the nature of serious illness CSOM to the left ear, we are satisfied that the petitioner (Gawli) deserves to be released on parole.” The court perused the charts of furlough and parole and said, “The bare perusal shows that the petitioner had surrendered himself on due date before the Prison Authorities.”

While quashing the order by the Commissioner, the Bench directed him to grant parole to Gawli as per his entitlement, eligibility and conditions permissible.

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