The Delhi government on Friday came under fire from the Delhi High Court for giving preferential treatment to convicts with high connections like Manu Sharma.
The court directed the government’s home department to take a decision on 98 pending parole applications within a month.
“The court is in no doubt that the home department has been giving selective priority to parole request of some convicts because of their high connections and influence,” said Justice Kailash Gambhir.
“One such case is Manu Sharma whose application was disposed of with utmost promptitude. We have noted that the average time taken for disposal of other applicant is three to six months.”
Sharma, released on parole from Tihar Jail on September 22 on the ground of his mother’s illness, was spotted in a city hotel’s nightclub.
He was also allegedly involved in a brawl on the night of November 6.
Following an uproar, Sharma was forced to put an early end to his parole and return to the jail four days later.
Slamming the home department for the argument that
the delay in processing parole pleas was due to various layers of clearance, the High COurt judge said “no doubt the cautious approach is understandable but you cannot sit over applications for a long time while favouring some particular convicts. Every convict has to be treated alike”.
The court was hearing a plea filed on November 10 by a convict in the Connaught Place shootout case.
Constable Sumer Singh, who is one of the accused in the case, contended that the Delhi government had not decided on his parole request forwarded on September 30.
Singh has sought three month’s parole to file an appeal before the Supreme Court against his conviction.
Rules being re-written
Counsel for the Delhi government Meera Bhatia informed the court that new guidelines tightening norms for grant of parole is being finalised and the draft was ready.
Besides introducing 30-day time frame for the police to
complete verification process, the new guidelines also carry a provision to debar those who can create law and order
“It will be ensured that the prisoner does not commit security problems in the area
where he is staying while on parole. So reports of local police authorities will be obtained,” she said.