Narayan Sai case: The Supreme Court on October 20, stated that the two weeks absence of leave approved by the Gujarat High Court in rape convict Narayan Sai's case will no longer be effective.
The son of a self-proclaimed godman and rape convict is serving a life term in a 2014 rape case. In the court hearing of the state of Gujarat SLP against the order given by the Gujarat High Court which granted the convict a furlough or leave of absence for a period of two weeks.
The bench headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud refused Sai's furlough while noting that the purpose of giving furloughs is to allow a prisoner to continue their family life. Even though it can be claimed without reason, the prisoner does not have the legal right to it.
Thus, Sai's furlough was denied based on the concerns put forth by the Jail Superintendent who gave Sai a negative report because he tried keeping a mobile in jail which is illegal. The Bench also noted that the investigating team and witnesses were threatened during the trial.
On grounds of Bombay Furlough and Parole Rules, 1959 which stated that if disturbance to the public peace is caused due to a furlough then it can be denied, the SC bench too denied it to Narayan Sai.
The bench recorded that in Sai's case, he is convicted for offences under section 376 (rape) and Section 34 (furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code. Plus, Sai was released on Furlough for 2 weeks in December 2020. The grounds for that was the ill-health of Sai's mother.
Viewing the risk to law and order, as well as the nature of Sai's crime, his furlough plea this time has been rejected by the Supreme Court.
Also, since he is just in his second year of the life term, the Proviso to Rule 3(2), which states that the prisoner may be released on furlough every year after the completion of seven years' "actual imprisonment" (the actual time spent in prison).
"Considering the object and purpose of furlough, one is entitled to 15 days every year. No, the respondent was released in December 2020. Could he have asked for furlough in January this year also or does the right accrues only in December?" dictated the bench.
Challenging the grant of furlough, the SC issued notice on the Special Leave Petition.