The court and the police are not taking any chances while giving leave to convicts.
This after the murder convict of music baron Gulshan Kumar, Abdul Rauf Merchant, had fled the country after getting furlough (temporary leave from jail).
A key accused in the serial bomb blasts at railway stations in 1998 has sought the high court’s permission for furlough.
Mohammed Yaqoob Abdul Majid Nagpal, who was sentenced to life imprisonment, has never been released on bail or given furlough.
The high court has asked the state government to file an affidavit explaining what steps it would take to ensure that he does not abscond if he is out on furlough.
“We are aware of the situation (of convicts absconding). But, suppose, he is released then what would you (police) do to ensure that he does not leave the country,” asked Justice Ranjana Desai.
The division bench of Justice Desai and Justice R.G. Ketkar has asked public prosecutor Ajey Gadkari to file an affidavit in two weeks about the steps the police would take to ensure that Nagpal doesn’t abscond.
Nagpal was arrested on February 28, 1998.
On July 9, 2004, sessions Judge V L Achilya sentenced him to life imprisonment.
While pronouncing the sentence, Judge Achilya had recommended that the government should not should not show convicts any mercy.
The deputy inspector general (prisons), central region, Aurangabad, had rejected Nagpal’s furlough application citing adverse report by the police and order of the sessions judge.
Nagpal’s mother, who stays at Santacruz, had agreed to stand surety for his release. But the police said the slums where the Nagpals reside would be demolished and then it would be difficult to trace them if he disappears.
The court said if a convict is entitled to a furlough under the Maharashtra Jail Manuel Rules, then it cannot deny permission. “But we want to first know how would you (police) ensure his presence,” said Justice Desai.