Patna: Considering it an extraordinary circumstance, the Patna High Court has directed prison authorities to release a murder convict who is in jail for past seven years, on 90 days parole, on the basis of his wife’s plea that she may face infertility issues.
Justice Rajiv Ranjan Singh granted the parole on Saturday on a plea filed by Ranjeeta Patel, the wife of an inmate Vicky Anand Patel.
Vicky Anand Patel had beaten a person seven years ago in Nalanda. The victim, who was badly injured succumbed 16 days after the incident. Vicky Anand Patel was earlier booked under IPC sections of 307, 341, 342, 120B and 34. After victim’s death, Section 302 was added in the FIR and he was convicted for the life term.
The incident occurred five months after the marriage of Vicky Anand Patel and Ranjeeta. He has served seven years in jail so far. Ranjeeta in her plea before the court pointed out that her marriage was legal and as her husband is in jail, she may face infertility.
“As my husband was convicted just five months after our marriage and sent to jail, I may face an issue of infertility. He is in jail for seven years. Our marriage was legal and hence I requested the court to look into our issue on humanitarian grounds,” Ranjeeta Patel said.
“I am glad that the court has given parole to my husband for 90 days so that he can live with me,” she said.
As per the prison manual, there is a clause that if a pregnant woman commits a crime, she will not be sent to jail as the crime was committed by the woman and not the baby who is in her abdomen. Similarly, the court observed that the marriage of Ranjeeta and Vicky was legal and she cannot be punished for a crime committed by her husband.
The court also acknowledged the point of petitioner that parole or furlough can be given to murder accused to attend marriage, if anyone in the family falls ill, for apperaing in exams, cultural event, if any inmate write books during jail term, court gives parole for publications. However, there is no provision in prison law to provide rights to an inmate to live conjugal life.
The Patna high court observed that Article 21 of the Indian constitution says that a person has the right to live life with freedom (Swatantra Roop Se Jeene Ka Adhikar). Justice Rajiv Ranjan Singh observed that it can be given to a person who is not involved in crime but affected with it. Hence, the court has directed the Bihar government to act on reforms and accordingly amend the jail manual in 30 days.
In several countries like Denmark, one day off is being given in a week to an inmate who stayed in jail for five months. Similiarly, Brazil, France, the US and other countries as well allow inmates to live with their families for one day in a week under conjugal rights.
“I appealed to the court to grant my husband 90-day parole or else put me in jail, to which the court said that there is no provision in the jail manual for that. As there was no provision of IVF also in the jail manual, the court granted 90 days parole to my husband which I have requested for,” she said.
The parole is generally given to inmates for a maximum of 30 days while furlough is granted for 14 days maximum.