- Imprisoned, yet often out of prison!
Imprisoned, yet often out of prison!
The family of the late Mandar Surlakar, who was murdered, are still coming to terms with his loss. While that gruesome incident left the State shocked; the frequent release on parole of the four persons convicted in the murder case, continues to trouble the family. VIBHA VERMA takes a look at the recent turn of events
Frequent release on parole of the four persons convicted in the Mandar Surlakar murder case has left the prison authorities sandwiched between the victim’s family and the judiciary.
In what could be a startling revelation, parole to Rohan Dhungat, Jovito Ryan Dos Remedios Pinto, Shankar Tiwari and Nafiyaz Shaikh is probably higher than any other convicts. They, excluding Pinto, have managed to also get frequent extensions to paroles.
Exclusive information with Herald reveals that Dhungat was granted furlough for the first time in 2014, after which, he has been out on parole at least 14 times till September 2018 with nearly three dozen extensions. Pinto has been granted 13 paroles and one furlough whereas Shaikh has been on parole 15 times which has been extended 13 times. Tiwari, who is working as a para-legal volunteer in the jail, has been granted seven paroles and three furloughs so far.
Sources said that the Surlakar family has often expressed their displeasure over repeated temporary release of the prisoners; however, the department has cited the law as well as orders from the judiciary. “When the sanctioning authority rejects applications for parole, the convict/s moves the court challenging the department’s order. The court accepts their plea and directs the department to allow them temporary release. How can we disregard judiciary’s order?” asked one of the officers in the Home Department, who is closely overseeing matters related to parole, furlough and pre-mature release of the prisoners.
Mandar’s father Deepak Surlakar had recently approached the High Court of Bombay at Goa seeking enhancement of the convicts’ sentence period to death penalty or to jail them till the rest of their lives without remission. The court, in its order this month, had declined the father’s plea for imprisonment throughout their natural lives sans remission, but upheld life imprisonment for the murder that shook the entire State in 2006.
Sources said that prisoner, particularly Goan prisoners have been repeatedly seeking parole despite Prisons Rules denying grant of the short-term release on any ground other than emergency situations. “Some of those convicts mention answering of exams, helping family in business or other non-emergency personal reasons for release on parole. The prisons department grants parole on humanitarian grounds but at times, when these applications are rejected, the prisoners move the court and they get relief from the judiciary,” the source revealed. There are instances wherein some convicts file Right To Information (RTI) seeking details about jail staff, on being denied parole or furlough.