Furlough in India
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Furlough (discretionary leave) for convicts
What the rules say
See graphic, 'What does Furlough mean in the context of Indian prisoners? What is Sec 498-A of the IPC (Cruelty to the wife)'
The Times of India, Sep 02 2015
30-day parole to Dutt raises questions
Experts wonder whether jail authorities applied their mind in deciding his plea
Furlough is discretionary leave that convicts are allowed to enable re-integration with society upon their final release. It requires no specific reason. But parole is leave granted for a specific reason. It is not counted towards days served in prison, unlike furlough.
The jail manual requires a plea for parole to be processed within 45 days after it is made.The convict files and sends a parole plea to the jail superintendent, who forwards it to the divisional commissioner.The decision includes seeking a police report and communicating approval or rejection to the convict.
Delay in decision-making raises pertinent questions about whether prison authorities apply their mind, said a lawyer. Many lawyers say while the delay has come to light in Dutt's case, many applications remain pending for months, unnoticed and forgotten. “The rule book must be followed strictly as the high court has ruled in several cases,“ said advocate Farhana Shah, who has represented many convicts whose parole pleas were not decided for months. She said while Dutt's leave was “rightly granted“, though delayed, the “same consideration“ should be made for other inmates whose pleas are later rejected on the grounds that the reasons are no longer relevant. “If a parole plea is decided, for instance, after the marriage of the child of a convicted prisoner (for which leave was sought), it would defeat the very purpose,“ she said.
“If a plea is not decided in time, an extension plea would be rendered meaningless,“ said another lawyer, adding that even for furlough, the authorities are expected to verify the convict's conduct and record and only then grant leave.
Even convicts in jail for life can get furlough: SC
New Delhi: The Supreme Court ruled that furlough could not be denied to a convict who has been sentenced to remain in jail for his entire life without remission and such prisoners could not be deprived of their rights emanating from good jail conduct.
Furlough means release of aprisoner for a short period of time after a gap of certain qualified numbers of years of incarceration by way of motivation for maintaining good conduct and to remain disciplined in the prison. This is purely an incentive for good conduct in the prison. The period spent by the prisoner outside the prison on furlough shall be counted towards his sentence.
Setting aside the verdict of the Delhi HC which held that a prisoner condemned to live his entire life in jail was not entitled for furlough, a bench of Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and Aniruddha Bose said even if the person is otherwise not to get any remission and has to remain in prison for whole of the reminder of his natural life, that does not, as a corollary, means that his right to seek furlough is foreclosed. The court passed the plea of a convict seeking direction that his plea for furlough be considered.