The Bombay High Court rejected the parole request of 1993 serial blasts convict Bashir Ahmed Kairullah, observing that permitting him to step out of the prison might prove adverse to the "security of the society".
In a judgement passed on Tuesday, a bench of outgoing Acting Chief Justice VK Tahilramani and Justice MS Sonak dismissed the plea that Kairullah had filed challenging the decision of the prison authorities to reject his request for parole.
Kairullah had applied for parole in June, 2016 on the ground that his wife was ill.
The bench held that considering the magnitude of the offence for which Kairullah was convicted it would not be right to release him on parole.
Kairullah is undergoing a life sentence after being convicted for the 1993 serial blasts and is currently lodged in Nashik Central Jail.
"In the bomb blasts, 188 people were killed and 828 were injured. This is the magnitude of the offence which the petitioner has committed. Thus, it may be dangerous to the society to release such person on parole merely out of consideration of penal reform and humane treatment.
"As observed earlier, consideration of sympathy for him cannot be permitted to overshadow the consideration regarding security of the society," it said.
The authorities, however, pointed out, at the time, that Kairullah had failed to attach a medical certificate of his wife's health along with his parole application.
The state's rules mandate that a convict seeking parole or furlough on the ground of his illness, or illness of his family members, must submit medical reports and medical certificates signed by doctors from a government recognised hospital.
Kairullah finally amended his application and attached a medical certificate provided by a private doctor in November 2016.
His request, however, was rejected by the prison authorities and the Nashik Divisional Commissioner on the grounds that the medical certificate was given by a private doctor and not a government hospital, and more importantly, while Kairullah's plea was pending, the Maharashtra government had amended its furlough and parole rules.
On August 28, 2016, the state issued a notification disallowing furlough and restricting parole for those convicted for murder charges or for terrorist activities.
Kairullah's lawyer argued before the high court that since his application for parole was made in June 2016, two months before the state issued the above notification, the new rules could not be made applicable retrospectively in his case.
The bench led by Justice Tahilramani held that while the notification could not be applied retrospectively, in Kairullah's case, since he had failed to attach his wife's medical certificate with his application in June 2016, his November application, that had the medical certificate of a private doctor, will be considered as the right application seeking parole.
The court also noted that a report from the prison authorities had stated that Kairullah's conduct in jail was not good and that he had refused to "do the stitching work" assigned to him.
"The petitioner has been given work of stitching, however, the petitioner is not doing the said work. This shows that the conduct of the petitioner in jail is not good in as much as he is not following prison discipline. This shows that the petitioner has tendency to rebel which may spill over in the society if he is released on parole," the bench said.
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