J Dey murder convict granted temporary leave from jail
Appearing for the prison authorities, additional public prosecutor N R Tripahi opposed the grant of furlough
Mumbai: The Bombay high court has permitted Rohit Joseph, a convict serving life imprisonment sentence in Amravati Central jail for his complicity in the murder of journalist J Dey, to be released on furlough. Observing that there was no adverse report against Joseph’s conduct from the jail authorities, the HC said that he could not be refused furlough merely on the grounds that he was part of an organised crime syndicate when he was convicted. The court, however, directed the imposition of conditions to ensure that Joseph surrendered on the expiry of the furlough period.
The division bench of justices Sunil Shukre and G A Sanap while hearing the petition of Joseph, who is also known as Satish Kalya, was informed by advocate A Y Sharma that his client who was eligible for furlough was denied the same due to an adverse report by the jail authorities. Sharma further submitted that the report however did not mention any act on the part of Joseph which could be deemed as adverse for him to be denied the right to furlough.
Last year, another bench of HC had denied Joseph furlough after jail authorities had in their report stated that as Joseph had been part of an organised gang and had been convicted under the stringent MCOC Act for four offences and was sentenced to life imprisonment in all of them, releasing him on furlough was not desirable.
Appearing for the prison authorities, additional public prosecutor N R Tripahi opposed the grant of furlough and said that if Joseph was released, he could abscond as he was part of an organised crime syndicate and hence should not be allowed the benefit of the same.
After hearing all sides, the bench noted, “The adverse Police report heavily relied upon by the respondent no.1 (state of Maharashtra, DIG Prison) for rejecting furlough application of the petitioner, however, expresses apprehension of misuse of liberty only in general terms. There is no material stated in the Police report, which is adverse, which could be said to be something constituting a reasonable foundation of such apprehension. Therefore, on the strength of such general adverse report, valuable right like furlough cannot be denied to a prisoner like the petitioner.”
The court while allowing the petition stated, “If the Authorities are of the opinion that precautionary measures are required to be taken for ensuring surrender of the petitioner on the due date in the Prison at Amravati, the Authorities can impose suitable conditions like attendance of the petitioner at concerned Police Station periodically during the period of his being at large on furlough.”