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Rajinder Singh Vs. State of Punjab and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtPunjab and Haryana High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1984CriLJ425
AppellantRajinder Singh
RespondentState of Punjab and anr.
Cases ReferredMaru Ram v. Union of India
Excerpt:
.....(being on parole) is not to be reckoned while computing 8 1/2 years' actual sentence under para 516-b of the punjab jail manual (as amended by further instructions issued from time to time). thus, it was incumbent on the state government to treat the detenu as undergoing actual sentence while he remained on parole and reckon its credit on this understanding of the law;.....code. he approached this court in crl. w. p. no. 9 of 1983 bemoaning that he had undergone 14 years sentence of imprisonrnent including remissions and the state government was not considering his case for premature release. on 17th jan. 1983, a. s. bains, j., while allowing the said writ petition, directed the state government to consider the case of premature release of the delenu within two months from that date the stale government, seemingly in obedience to the aforesaid order. considered the case of the petitioner and rejected it. this has given rise to the present petition.2. now the detenu laments that the state government has taken shelter under paragraph 516-b of the punjab jail manual (as amended by further instructions) whereiuider it has been provided that a life convict.....
Judgment:
ORDER

M.M. Punchhi, J.

1. The detenu seeking writ of habeas corpus was awarded life imprisonment for having committed an offence under Section 302, Penal Code. He approached this Court in Crl. W. P. No. 9 of 1983 bemoaning that he had undergone 14 years sentence of imprisonrnent including remissions and the State Government was not considering his case for premature release. On 17th Jan. 1983, A. S. Bains, J., while allowing the said writ petition, directed the State Government to consider the case of premature release of the delenu within two months from that date The Stale Government, seemingly in obedience to the aforesaid order. considered the case of the petitioner and rejected it. This has given rise to the present petition.

2. Now the detenu laments that the State Government has taken shelter under paragraph 516-B of the Punjab Jail Manual (as amended by further instructions) whereiuider it has been provided that a life convict seeking premature release shall beforehand undergo 8 1/2 years' actual sentence. And in the matter of calculating of those 8 1/2 years! sentence they have not given him credit of the period while he remained on parole. Factually, this position is not disputed and the State has taken the view that the period of parole has not to be computed towards counting 8 1/2 years' actual sentence. This stand of the State in view of Maru Ram v. Union of India : 1980CriLJ1440 , does not appear to be correct. In para-graph 71 of the report. Krishna Iyer, J. had observed as follows:-.Restraint on freedom under the prison law is the test. Licensed releases where instant recapture is sanctioned by the law, and, likewise, parole, where the parolee is no free agent, and other categories under the invisible fetters of the prison law may legitimately be regarded as imprisonment. This point is necessary to be cleared even for computation of 14 years under Section 433A.... There was some argument that Section 433A is understood to be a ban on parole. Very wrong. The section does not obligate continuous foruteen years in jail and so parole is permissible....

3. Finally, in paragraph 72 of the report, conclusion (11) as formulated is to the following effect:-

(11) The U.P. Prisoners' Release on Probation Act, 1938, enabling limited enlargement under licence will be effective as legislatively sanctioned imprisonment of a loose and liberal type and such licensed enlargement will be reckoned for the purpose of the 14-year duration. Similar other statutes and rules will enjoy similar efficacy.

4. It is clear from the afore-extracted passages from Maru Ram's case 1980 Cri LJ 1440 (SC) (supra) that release on parole is conceptually a loose imprisonment. It partakes the character of imprisonment and thus necessarily has to be taken into account while computing 14 years' actual sentence under Section 433-A. I fail to see why conceptual imprisonment (being on parole) is not to be reckoned while computing 8 1/2 years' actual sentence under para 516-B of the Punjab Jail Manual (as amended by further instructions issued from time to time). Thus, it was incumbent on the State Government to treat the detenu as undergoing actual sentence while he remained on parole and reckon its credit on this understanding of the law; the learned Counsel for the State has then candidly given out that the State would be prepared to reconsider the case of the petitioner within a reasonable time. Let the needful be done within a period of four weeks from today. This petition is accordingly allowed on such concession of the State counsel, but subject to the observations made heretofore. No costs.


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