The Delhi government, which had faced a public outcry over granting parole to Jessica Lall's killer Manu Sharma, has come under attack from the High Court for denying similar benefit to a drugs case convict on "superfluous and irrelevant" grounds.
"If an order passed by Government is based on extraneous reasons or is on grounds which are not relevant, or being unjust or improper, it is open to courts to quash such an order and direct release on parole," Justice V K Jain said.
The Delhi government recently declined parole to Vimal Kumar Bahl, who was awarded 13 years' jail term by the High Court, which upheld the lower court verdict in a case lodged under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.
The convict had sought his release on parole for filing an appeal before the Supreme Court against the High Court judgement in the case.
Earlier, the government incurred public outrage over granting parole to Sharma, serving a life sentence for murder of model Jessica. Sharma returned to jail before his parole expired after a controversy raged over the issue.
In this case, the government trashed Bahl's plea saying he had already availed interim bail in 2009 and other family members could arrange for filing the appeal.
"The Government was not justified in denying parole on the ground that there are other members in the family of the petitioner who can arrange filing of SLP on his behalf," the court said.