‘Convict not hardcore if acquitted in most cases’ - ECAS Punjab

‘Convict not hardcore if acquitted in most cases’

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Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 6

The High Court has made it clear that a convict could not be considered a hardcore criminal once acquitted or given a clean chit in a substantial number of cases out of the total initially registered against him.

The assertion is significant as the state, more often than not, uses the “hardcore criminal” tag to oppose parole pleas after citing the total number of FIRs registered against a convict regardless of the cases he had been acquitted in. The benefit of parole cannot be, otherwise, granted to hardcore criminals in accordance with the settled provisions of law.

“This court is not inclined to regard the petitioner as a hardcore criminal, who ought to be denied the benefit of parole on the assertion that there is likelihood of his indulgence in more criminal activities, if so released, or absconding from the arms of law,” Justice Sudip Ahluwalia of the HC asserted in one such matter.

The developments took place on a petition filed against the state of Punjab and other respondents by Kamaldip Singh through counsel Charanpal Singh Bagri. The Bench during the course of hearing was told about eight other FIR cases in which the petitioner was alleged to be involved.

After hearing the arguments and going through the documents, Justice Ahluwalia asserted it transpired during the course of hearing that the petitioner had been acquitted in three of the cases, while one of the FIRs was cancelled. Another FIR was quashed by the HC. Apart from this, the petitioner was now facing trial in three other cases.

Justice Ahluwalia added the petitioner had admittedly undergone imprisonment in excess of three years. Consequently, the impugned order rejecting the petitioner’s application for parole on the aforesaid grounds was untenable and was thereby set aside.

Justice Ahluwalia granted the petitioner the liberty to apply afresh for his release on parole. The Bench added an appropriate order would then be passed by the competent authority within three weeks from the date the application was submitted.



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