Tihar Jail authorities have written to the Delhi government to amend parole rules and make them more stringent as 67 prisoners on parole went missing over the past five years.
Of these 67,49 inmates were granted relief by the Delhi High Court,one by the lower court and 17 by the Delhi government.
Parole is a legal sanction that lets a prisoner leave the prison for a short duration on the condition that they behave appropriately after release and report back to the prison on termination of the parole period.
The relief is granted to a prisoner detained for any offence irrespective of the duration of imprisonment. A prisoner may be released on parole in certain emergency situations such as for treatment of ailment that requires specialised care,perform funeral rites,visit a sick or dying member of the family,and attend important functions like marriage or construct a house or repair a badly damaged house.
At present,there are 11,988 inmates in all the nine jails of Tihar.
The course of refreshing parole guidelines was set in motion by the Delhi High Court in
November 2009 after it was largely perceived that Jessica Lall
murder convict Manu Sharma got parole too easily and he misused the liberty.
The court had asked then Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium to help the Delhi government make changes in existing guidelines,while hearing a petition on what made prisoners eligible for parole.
The Bench had expressed anguish at the way parole for the poor was rejected while the rich and the influential got away in an obvious reference to the ease with which Manu Sharma got his parole. It had said the misuse of parole by the rich should not diminish the chances of poor prisoners from getting relief.
However the first draft of guidelines drawn up by Subramanium and Principal Secretary (Home) was disapproved by a Bench headed by then Chief Justice as it noted that fresh set of rules were too strict and all kinds of offenders and convicts were to be denied the relief of parole.
Sent back to the drawing board,the Delhi government unveiled a new,time-bound parole policy in January 2010,and told the court that all applications for parole will now be processed in 40 days. Subramanium had convinced the Bench that relevant issues had been addressed in the new 14-page document and those being denied parole would be given specific reasons so as to make it transparent for all.
The guidelines for the first time set a timeframe within which the authorities concerned are required to process and dispose of parole applications.
While making it easier for inmates to come out on parole for re-establishing social ties with the family or enabling him to file special leave petitions in the Supreme Court,the new rules deny parole only to those who are a threat to national security,involved in sedition,convicted for rape-cum-murder,multiple murders or for the murder and rape of children.