Taking exception to the way parole was granted to Jessica Lall murder case convict Manu Sharma, the Delhi High Court on Friday pulled up the city government for giving preferential treatment to convicts having high connections.
Justice Kailash Gambhir said that in normal cases the government takes three to six months to decide a parole application of a convict but in case of Manu Sharma it disposed off his plea within 20 days.
"The list (regarding number of parole applications) depicts a dismal picture showing the government is giving least priority to parole applications of convicts. No doubt the Home Department has given selective treatment to some convicts because of their high connections," Justice Gambhir said.
The Court made the observations on a petition filed by Sumeer Singh, a convict in the Connaught Place shooting case, seeking a parole for three months to file an appeal in the Supreme Court against his conviction on the ground that his family members were illiterate.
The Court, showing displeasure over the lax approach of the government, had on November 10 issued notice to the city government's Home Secretary to personally appear before it to explain the delay in dealing with applications of parole despite its clear directives in this regard.
The court had on the last hearing on November 10 taken strong exception to the government not following its directions with regard to parole matters.
"Already this court has given direction that the parole applications moved by the convicts be given due priority and the same be decided within a period of 10 days and it appears that the directions given by this court are being implemented more in violations than in compliance," the court had said.
The high court had also directed the government to file a list of parole applications received by it so far this year.
Sharma, who was released on parole from Tihar jail on September 22 on the ground of his mother's illness, was reportedly spotted in a nightclub in a hotel in the city, triggering a controversy. He then returned to the Tihar Jail on his own on Novemeber 10.