Prisoner’s own marriage is a reason sufficient to grant parole

High Court of Bombay at Goa:  The Court recently decided on an interesting issue as to whether a prisoner could be granted the benefit of parole for his own marriage. To come to any just conclusion, the Court had to interpret Rule 324 of Goa Prison Rules, 2006. As per this rule, a prisoner could be granted parole in emergent situations and further mentioned such situations like, death or illness of mother, father, spouse, children, brother or sister or marriage of brother, sister or children. However, along with these situations, the rule further mentioned that one could be granted parole for any other sufficient cause.

Now, the Court had to interpret if it was legitimate to cover the prisoner’s own marriage under the ambit of a sufficient cause. The counsel for the respondent argued that petitioner’s own marriage was not an emergent situation, but his own creation. To stand this argument, the counsel for petitioner wholly placed reliance of his pleadings on Sanjay @ Gafudiya v. State of Rajasthan, 2013 SCC OnLine Raj 1381 in which the prisoner was granted parole for 3 weeks for his own marriage and the fact of his marriage was undisputed and confirmed by the public records.

Relying on the judgment of Rajasthan High Court and considering the fact that the marriage of prisoner was rescheduled, the Court also granted the parole to the petitioner for his own marriage and held that the expression ‘any other sufficient cause’ would take within its sweep the marriage of the prisoner as well. [Cecilia Fernandes v. Inspector General, Prisons, Panaji, Goa,  2017 SCC OnLine Bom 46, decided on January 19, 2017]

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