Supreme Court refuses relief to Narayan Sai

Supreme Court refuses relief to Narayan Sai
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Supreme Court refuses relief to Narayan Sai

Highlights

The grant of furlough must be balanced against the public interest and can be refused to certain categories of prisoners, the Supreme Court on Wednesday said as it set aside the Gujarat High Court order granting 14-day furlough to rape convict Narayan Sai, son of self-styled godman Asaram Bapu.

New Delhi: The grant of furlough must be balanced against the public interest and can be refused to certain categories of prisoners, the Supreme Court on Wednesday said as it set aside the Gujarat High Court order granting 14-day furlough to rape convict Narayan Sai, son of self-styled godman Asaram Bapu.

The top court said that Sai and his father have a mass following of persons who owe loyalty to them and there is a reasonable apprehension of disruption of public peace and tranquillity. A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and BV Nagarathna allowed a plea of the Gujarat government challenging the June 24 order of the high court granting furlough to Sai. "For the above reasons, we allow the appeal and set aside the impugned judgement and order of the High Court dated June 24, 2021," it said. Analysing the Bombay Furlough and Parole Rules which are applicable in Gujarat, the bench said that the Rules do not confer a legal right on a prisoner to be released on furlough.

"The grant of furlough is to break the monotony of imprisonment and to enable the convict to maintain continuity with family life and integration with society. Although furlough can be claimed without a reason, the prisoner does not have an absolute legal right to claim furlough," it said, adding that "the grant of furlough must be balanced against the public interest and can be refused to certain categories of prisoners".

It said that grant of furlough is regulated by Rule 3 and Rule 4 and while Rule 3 provides the eligibility criteria for grant of furlough for prisoners serving different lengths of imprisonment, Rule 4 imposes limitations.

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