The Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday ordered the Punjab and Haryana governments to inform it as to how many parole-jumpers were in their states and what efforts the respective authorities had made to re-arrest them.
The directions came from the division bench comprising chief justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and justice Augustine Geoge Masih during the hearing of a public interest litigation challenging policies of the two state governments regarding pre-mature release of life convicts. Issuing notices of motion to both the states, the court directed them to file their replies before January 25.
The petitioner made a prayer for setting up a special task force for nabbing parole-jumpers while disclosing that at least 150 convicts, which comprised murderers, rapists and those convicted under the NDPS Act, had jumped parole from seven jails in Haryana and had not been re-arrested so far. The petitioner also stated that in Punjab, from Patiala central jail alone, at least 39 such convicts who jumped parole had not been re-arrested till date.
The petitioner had sought quashing of the premature release policies of both the governments stating that these policies did not contain any parameters for consideration of such applications by life convicts and such life convicts were being released in a casual manner before completion of their terms.
The petitioner also gave examples of 13 applications on the basis of which life convicts were released recently from the Bathinda central jail. One such convict Harnek Singh, who was prematurely released, had submitted in his application that his family was not in a good financial condition and there was no one to look after the agricultural land. Two life convicts, Malkiat Singh and Harbans Singh, who were brothers, had filed separate applications for premature release on similar grounds saying there was no male member in the family. Both were prematurely released.