Days after it came to light that Sajjad Mughal, convicted for murdering Mumbai lawyer Pallavi Purkayastha, “went missing” while on parole, the Maharashtra government has decided to change parole rules.
Vijay Satbir Singh, Principal Secretary, Home, told The Indian Express that the government will bring about reforms in the entire procedure of granting parole to prisoners. The move aims to avoid a repeat of the Mughal episode.
“We will have a re-look at the procedures that involve granting parole to prisoners. Besides, we will also look into the powers that the authorities concerned have,” said Singh.
The senior official, who has ordered a probe into the Mughal incident, said the amount of money deposited for parole and also the people standing sureties for such prisoners would be reconsidered. “It is really sad that someone who killed an innocent soul jumped parole. We have taken note of other such instances and will re-look at the entire process,” he said, referring to the Mughal case.
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A proposal sent by the prisons department seeking that power to grant parole be vested only in a DIG-rank official was rejected by the Maharashtra government two years ago. Had the state considered their proposal, jail officials would have rejected the parole plea of convict Mughal knowing his background, a senior prisons official told The Indian Express.
According to the current system, a divisional commissioner is given the power to grant parole. Many in the department feel this isn’t foolproof as the official is not always well versed with the background of the prisoner.
Security guard Mughal, who had molested and murdered Pallavi at her residence in Mumbai on August 9, 2012, was granted a 30-day parole in February this year. His application for extension of parole was rejected, but Mughal did not return to jail.