The Pune Divisional Commissioner’s office received 2,511 parole applications from Yerawada prison in the last three years of which 1,161 requests were cleared and 1,089 were rejected. The rest, 200, remained pending for want of police clearance. Parole applications saw a 19 per cent decline last year, and approvals dipped by over 50 per cent as compared to 2013, statistics provided by the Pune Divisional Commissioner’s office reveals.
Parole is usually granted for 30 days and sanctioned by the Pune Divisional Commissioner. A 30-day extension can be sought after providing a clear conduct report from the jail and a police report. Parole applications were brought to the limelight by actor Sanjay Dutt last year, who applied for and received it. Last year, there were 750 applications for parole and 204 of them were approved. There were 314 that were rejected and 232 had to be held back pending police clearance.
Officials at the Divisional Commissioner’s office said 2013 topped the list of applications, followed by 2012. There was a rise in parole applications between 2012 and 2013 by 11.9 per cent, and a drop of 19 per cent between 2013 and 2014. Approval of parole went down 10 per cent in 2013 from 2012. A huge drop in clearances was noticed. Cases cleared in 2013 and 2014 were about 50 per cent. In terms of rejection of applications, the highest was in 2013, nearly 31 per cent lower than parole approvals in 2014.
Officials said that once applications are received, they wait for the prisons department report and the police department report. “The applications are approved or rejected based on the police report,’’ said the officials.
Post Dutt’s applications for furlough and parole, the prisons department was extra cautious. Deputy Inspector General of Prisons Rajendra Dhamne says the number has not increased or decreased because of any one particular reason.
“Parole is awarded in case there is someone sick or there is a death in the family. The case is thoroughly assessed and the Pune divisional commissioner after seeking our report and police report decides it. It is not mandatory for every prisoner to get parole. It is a privilege and does not give them any term remission,’’ clarifies Dhamne on the rules.
He clarifies that an extension is given based on the conduct of the prisoner in jail and whether police reports are cited in the rules.
Officials at the Divisional Commissioner’s Office said clearance is given on the basis of prisons deprtment report and the police report. A log is maintained on how many times an applicant has applied for parole. While a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in high court sought details of the government in both furlough and parole granted to actor Dutt, officials maintain that each case is thoroughly assessed before final clearance. The state government has been told to reply.
The PIL mentions that Dutt was out on parole from December 2013 to March 2014 and last year got furlough for 14 days which expired on January 8 and he surrendered on January 10. The PIL mentions that since his surrender on May 16, 2013 he has been out of jail for 134 days on either parole or furlough and the petition prays for guidelines on the same. The court has asked the government to respond in this case.