New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Friday said it would not interfere with its single judge's order rejecting a plea for furlough by Vikas Yadav, who is in jail for life for the murder of Nitish Katara.
A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V K Rao noted that the state government and later the single judge on July 9 had rejected Yadav's plea based on his conduct in prison and said "we are not going to interfere in the matter".
The bench observed that he was punished for misconduct while in jail and his behaviour in prison was found unsatisfactory.
"Your conduct was not good. Your plea for furlough was rejected based on your conduct," the court said, adding it will pass an order later on Yadav's appeal against the July 9 decision.
The case relates to kidnapping of Katara from a marriage party on the intervening night of February 16-17, 2002, before killing him for his alleged affair with Vikas Yadav's sister Bharti, the daughter of Uttar Pradesh politician D P Yadav.
Katara was murdered as Vishal and Vikas did not approve of the victim's affair with Bharati as they belonged to different castes, the lower court had said in its verdict.
Today, Yadav's lawyer told the high court that his client has already spent over 16 years in prison and he was punished four times for violation of jail conditions.
Additional criminal standing counsel Rajesh Mahajan opposed the appeal, saying Yadav was not qualified for furlough as he has not earned the required three Annual Good Conduct Remissions.
Mahajan said Yadav will not be eligible for remission till he completed the 25-year jail term awarded to him by the high court, which was later upheld by the Supreme Court. He said the high court had made it clear that the convict was not eligible for remission till he completes his imprisonment.
The prosecution lawyer also said that the appeal was not maintainable as, according to the apex court, a single judge's order in a criminal writ petition can be assailed only in the Supreme Court. He also said that Yadav could apply for parole as it does not require annual good conduct remission.
Furlough is a right of a prison inmate to have leave for a certain period of time in a year when he can come out of jail. It is counted towards the total period of his sentence. The prison authorities may deny the relief in certain cases.
Parole is also a temporary release from jail, but it is not a matter of right and is entirely subject to discretion of the prison authorities and the period outside does not count towards the duration of sentence.
On August 29 last year, the Supreme Court had dismissed Vishal Yadav and Vikas Yadav's pleas seeking review of its verdict sending them to prison for 25 years. It had also awarded a 20-year jail term to third convict Sukhdev Pehalwan in the case.