Amravati Central Prison was fined by Bombay High Court for Consistently Turning Down Requests for Furlough Leave of 1998 Mumbai Blast Convict 

mumbai bomb blast, amravati

The Bombay High Court fined the Amravati Central Prison for consistently turning down requests for furlough leave of 1998 Mumbai blast convict. 


In Criminal Writ Petition filed by the petitioner challenging the order passed by the D.I.G., Prison, Nagpur rejecting his application for grant of furlough leave for a period of 28 days.

Court Observation

The division bench of Justice M. W. Chandwani and Justice Sunil B. Shukre noted that the petitioner has been released by the Authority on furlough on six occasions in the past. These occasions were of the year, 2008, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2019 and 2021. 

It was further noted that on each of the occasions, the petitioner had surrendered himself to the Jail Authority on due date. In other words, there has been not a single occasion when the petitioner has jumped furlough.

The court said that it did not understand as to why this time the petitioner has been denied the benefit of furlough leave.

The bench observed that on each of the occasions when the application of furlough leave was rejected, the concerned authority i.e. Inspector General of Prisons, Nagpur had passed stereotyped orders, without there being any application of mind to the available facts.

The court said that rule 2 of the Prisons Rules, 1959 confers discretion upon the Deputy Inspector General of Prisons (Regional) to appropriately decide the applications for grant of furlough.

“The requirement of recording of reasons under Rule 8(7) of the Prisons Rules, 1959 is not an empty formality and certainly, is not a license for passing an order recording the same old reasons almost like a cliché. It is a well settled principle of law that whenever there is discretion, it comes with responsibility to exercise it reasonably, fairly and in a manner as to fulfill the object of legislation under which it is given”, the court added.

It was observed by the court that the object of Rules relating to grant of furlough to a prisoner is to enable him to communicate himself with his family members intermittently, so that he does not lose his sense of sociability and either becomes a distressed and disturbed man or develops into a hardened criminal.   

The court directed that the sanctioning Authority under the Prisons Rules, 1959 must ensure to exercise due care and caution in deciding applications for furlough leave, while keeping in view the settled principles of law. 

The court directed the Respondent to release the petitioner on furlough leave as per his entitlement, subject to such reasonable conditions as may be imposed in the discretion of respondent within a period of seven days.

Case title: Mohd. Sagir Bashir Chauhan v/s The Deputy Inspector General of Prisons and Ors. 

Citation: CRIMINAL WRIT PETITION (WP) NO. 596/2022

Date: 23.11.2022

Click here to read the Order/Judgment 

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