SC Stays Order Granting Parole to POCSO Convict to ‘Have Progeny’

The Supreme Court on Friday stayed the order of the Rajasthan High Court, in which a 15-day parole was granted to a life convict under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act on a petition filed by his wife, who was childless and desirous of retaining/maintaining her marriage with the convict.

A division bench of Justices AS Bopanna and PS Narasimha issued a notice on the special leave petition (SLP) filed by the state of Rajasthan challenging the said grant of parole.

The state had argued before the Supreme Court that grant of parole was not a matter of fundamental right.

In October, a division bench of Justices Sandeep Mehta and Sameer Jain of the Rajasthan High Court ordered the release of Rahul on parole after considering his young age.

In its impugned order, the High Court had relied on its previous judgment passed by the Jodhpur bench ordering a 15-day parole to a man serving life sentence for the purpose of impregnating his wife.

In the said order, a bench of Justices Sandeep Mehta and Farjand Ali, while allowing the application preferred by the convict through his wife which sought emergent parole on grounds on โ€œwant of progeny”, stated that wife of the prisoner has been deprived of her right to have progeny, even though she has not committed any offence and is not under any punishment.

On Friday, senior advocate Manish Singhvi, appearing for the state of Rajasthan, argued that the High Court had failed to consider the aspect that the accused was convicted for a serious crime under the Indian Penal Code and POCSO Act.

The state further argued that the High Court failed to consider the report of the Superintendent of Police and granted parole solely on the grounds of extraneous factors of religious philosophies, cultural, sociological, and humanitarian aspects, and in complete contravention of law.

Furthermore, a submission was made that in various cases, the Supreme Court had held that there was no fundamental right to either parole/furlough or remission.

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