Panaji: The Bombay High Court has come down heavily on the Goa inspector general of prisons for "shirking his responsibility" and handling parole and furlough applications "without proper application of mind".
A division bench of justices M S Sonak and Nutan Sardesai in its order on Tuesday observed that Inspector General (Prisons) Rajendra Mirajkar rejected parole and furlough applications of prisoners in a "mechanical" manner.
It was hearing a petition filed by Naguesh Gaonkar, who is lodged at the Colvale prison in North Goa district, seeking to be released on parole.
"Prima facie we find that the IG, Prisons, is shirking the responsibility by virtually abdicating his discretion to the dictates of the superintendent of police," the court said.
Even the reports of the superintendent of police are issued in a mechanical manner, it said. The bench said that in the past, prisoners have been released on parole and furlough and have not breached the conditions or absconded.
"These circumstances have been completely ignored and applications are routinely rejected on the alleged basis that there is a possibility of the prisoner absconding," it said.
The bench directed Mirajkar to file an affidavit, stating when he took charge as IG, Prisons, details of parole and furlough applications handled by him since taking charge of the office and how many such applications were allowed and rejected.
The court posted the matter for further hearing after two weeks.
It noted that because of the "mechanical" approach adopted by the police in rejecting parole and furlough applications, each week several petitions are filed in the high court challenging the rejection orders.