Jagmohan Bhatti, a senior advocate of the Punjab and Haryana High Court while speaking exclusively to Times Network informed about the recent amendment made in the Haryana Good Conduct Prisoner (Temporary Release) Act, 1988.
In a shocking revelation made by the senior advocate of the HC , he said as per the new Act, Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, who is undergoing imprisonment on rape and murder charges and is currently released on a 40-day parole, should not be granted the parole.
Bhatti said earlier Haryana Good Conduct Prisoner (Temporary Release) Act, 1988 was applicable in the State but this year the government has made changes in the old Act and gave nod to Haryana Good Conduct Prisoner Act 2022.
“The spirit of the old act has been destroyed in the new act. According to the new act, Ram Rahim cannot get parole,” Bhatti stated while speaking to Times Network.
Bhatti further said that the new Act has made the parole rules stricter than before and the new Act clearly states that parole cannot be granted to any hardcore criminal who has been sentenced to life imprisonment or death.
“The new Act no longer requires any reason to be given for parole,” said senior advocate Bhatti.
As per the 1988 Act, a prisoner had to mention the reason behind taking the furlough or parole and if the reason mentioned was not satisfying, the parole could be declined. However, in the latest Haryana Good Conduct Prisoner Act 2022, the column where one had to mention the reason for requesting parole does not exist anymore.
“Earlier, parole was granted on sickness or marriage family of a family member or for farming and there was a fixed period of parole for each reason but in the new Act, there is no such provision,” said Bhatti.
“The High Court receives many petitions for parole but the Haryana government does not grant them. But, Gurmeet Ram Rahim is being granted parole time and again,” claimed the senior advocate in an exclusive one-to-one with Times Network.
Gurmeet Ram Rahim, who is on 40-day parole from Sunaria jail in Haryana’s Rohtak district, was out of jail on parole thrice in 2021 and twice in 2022, including for 21 days in February during the single-phase Punjab Assembly polls held on February 20 and for a month in June during Sangrur by-polls which was conducted on June 23. Worth mentioning here, the Adampur by-polls are scheduled on November 3.
Ram Rahim can seek at least 40 days of parole before December 31, 2022, said prison authorities.