New Delhi, October 20
The Supreme Court on Wednesday set aside the order of the Gujarat High Court granting 14-day furlough to rape convict Narayan Sai, son of self-styled godman Asaram Bapu.
A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and BV Nagarathna allowed the appeal of the Gujarat government challenging the June 24 order of the high court granting furlough to Sai.
The top court said furlough is not an absolute right and it depends on various factors.
It said the jail superintendent had given a negative opinion for grant of furlough to Sai as a mobile phone was found from his cell.
On August 12, the top court had stayed the Gujarat High Court order giving two-week furlough to Sai.
The top court had issued a notice to Sai on the Gujarat government’s plea challenging the high court’s single-judge order of June 24 and stayed it till further orders.
It had said that the proviso to Rule 3(2) of the Bombay Furlough and Parole Rules, 1959, provides that a prisoner sentenced to life imprisonment may be released on furlough “every year” after he completes seven years actual imprisonment.
The single-judge bench of the high court ordered the release of Sai on furlough for two weeks on June 24, 2021, but the division bench had stayed it till August 13 and thereafter the state has moved the top court challenging the June 24 order.
The state government has contended that under the rules and even in a judgement of this court, it has been held that furlough is not an absolute right and it depends on various factors.
It had said Sai and his father were arrested for offences under rape charges and they wield considerable influence with money and muscle power.
On April 26, 2019, Sai was convicted under the Indian Penal Code sections 376 (rape), 377 (unnatural offences), 323 (assault), 506-2 (criminal intimidation), and 120-B (conspiracy) by a Surat court and sentenced to life imprisonment. PTI