26 May 2020


High Court of Bombay

Pintu Uttam Sonale Vs. The State of Maharashtra




Prisoners cannot claim the benefit of furlough leave as a matter of right

The Petitioner – Convict lodged in Nasik Road Central Prison, preferred the present petition seeking relief to quash and set aside the impugned order rendered by the Deputy Inspector of General Prison as well as appellate authority i.e. Additional Deputy General of Police and Inspector General Prison, rebuffing the relief of furlough leave and to allow him to avail the furlough leave on humanitarian ground.

It is not in dispute that, the Petitioner was convicted for the offence punishable under Section 376(2)(n) of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) and Section 5(J)(ii) read with Section 6 of The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012.

Being dissatisfied with the findings of conviction, Petitioner filed the Criminal Appeal to redress his grievances. Unfortunately, his appeal came to be turned down by present Court and the conviction and resultant sentence awarded by the learned trial Court were made confirm and absolute. The Petitioner, since conviction, was put in the prison being convict of sexual offences.

The concerned Jail authorities have correctly invoked the provisions of Rule 4(6), 4(11), 4(13) and 4(18) of the Maharashtra Prisons (Bombay Furlough and Parole) Rules, 1959. There was notification published in Government Gazette on 26th August, 2016 for amendment in the Rules of 1959. The Rule 4 of Amendment Rules, 2016, postulates two classification of the prisoners, one is the prisoner, who are eligible to apply for furlough leave and another is not permissible to avail furlough benefit. This Court in various judicial precedents delineated that, the prisoners cannot claim the benefit of furlough leave as a matter of right. The Rule 17 contemplates that "nothing in these rules shall be construed as conferring a legal right on a prisoner to claim release on furlough."

Admittedly, the Petitioner has no legal right to claim the furlough leave. Moreover, he is the convict of sexual offence punishable under Section 376(2)(n) of IPC as well as under POCSO Act, 2012. In view of the notification dated 26th August, 2016, the Petitioner is not eligible for release on furlough.

It would be reiterated that, the Government of Maharashtra issued the notification dated 26th August, 2016 and refused to exercise powers to grant furlough to the prisoners convicted for the offence of rape. Therefore, there is no propriety to cause any interference in the impugned orders passed by the concerned Jail authority for rejecting the application of the petitioner to release him on furlough. Petition dismissed.

Tags : Right Furlough Grant

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