Statistics furnished by the state government to the Bombay high court indicate that there is a rise in the number of convicts absconding from jail after being let off on parole or furlough.
The court was hearing a plea by a murder convict who sought parole.
The state opposed the plea, furnishing records that pointed to a rising incidence of prisoners absconding while on parole.
According to the figures furnished by the additional director general of police and inspector general of police (prisons), Maharashtra, about 410 prisoners released on parole and 409 prisoners released on furlough had not return to jail till August.
“These numbers are not only fluctuating but also on the rise,” the court was informed.
The court was hearing a plea by Anil Pathwe, lodged in Yerwada central prison, who wrote a letter from the jail stating that he did not have anyone to stand surety since both his parents were in jail for the same offence and his uncle who stood surety earlier had died.
Advocate Arfan Sait, acting as the amicus curie (friend of court) cited judgements to point out that jail authorities do not have to strictly adhere by the rules and can use their discretionary powers to grant parole.
The court, on Wednesday, after observing that the contention of both the parties were partly valid, directed that the convict be relegated before the competent authority for re-consideration of the issue on its own merits.