Decided on August 30,1988



A.P.RAVANI - (1.)There is no dispute with regard to the fact that the petitioner-Prisoner has become entitled to two furloughs. As per the prevailing practice and as per the provisions of the relevant rules the I. G. Prisons ordinarily asks for police opinion before releasing a prisoner on parole or furlough. Therefore in this case also the opinion of the concerned police authority was called for.
(2.)The Police Officer concerned (Deputy Commissioner of Police Ahmedabad) has opined that the petitioner Prisoner be not released on furlough because the grounds stated by the Prisoner that on account of Id Festival he wanted to be out of Jail for few days and enjoy furlough was not proper. Having received this opinion the 1. G. Prisons requested the police authority vide his letter dated 31/05/1988 to reconsider this opinion because the same was not based on relevant grounds. Thereafter the police authority sent its opinion on 6/06/1988 and stated that there was likelihood of breach of peace if the petitioner Prisoner is released on furlough as the Prisoner was a known culprit.
(3.)The aforesaid facts clearly show that proper attention is not given by the Police Officers concerned while their opinion is sought for in cases of parole and furlough by the I. G. Prisons. It must be realised by the police authorities that their opinion is asked for not as a matter of mechanical formality. They are not required to give adverse opinion mechanical nor they are supposed to give favourable opinion without considering the pros and cons of the grant or refusal of furlough or parole leave. It must be borne in mind by the police authorities that ordinarily furlough is earned by a Prisoner after he undergoes imprison- ment for a period of two years. A convicted prisoner has to earn his furlough i.e. if his conduct in Jail is not up to the mark he does not get furlough. His conduct is watched day-to-day by the Jail authorities. Therefore when a prisoner becomes entitled to furlough leave it almost amounts to his right. Such a right cannot be lightly destroyed by just writing one line here and there and expressing adverse Opinion against the Prisoner. The police authorities while doing so are playing with the lived of the Prisoners who are handicapped on account of their containment in Jail. It must be realised by them that ordinarily poor people on account of paucity of resources and on account of illiteracy ant ignorance are much more handicapped than other people who many a time even without there being police opinion one way of the other of despite their being adverse opinion are in a position to got parole and furlough from superior authorities. He that as it may. A sense of awareness of duty and its seriousness is required to be exhibited by the police authorities contended while expressing their opinion in respect of parole and furlough. Their mechanical recital that there is likelihood of breach of peace if the petitioner Prisoner is released on parole or furlough is not what is called for from the Police Officer. The Police Officer must be in a position to substantiate his opinion and he must indicate the reasons thy he has expressed opinion adverse to the connected prisoner being released on perole and/or furlough. Accordingly he must also indicate the material on which the said adverse opinion is based.

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