The state government has issued a notification to amend the Maharashtra Prisons Rules to enable granting of emergency parole to convicts during the current coronavirus pandemic. The new rule will be conditionally applicable till the time the Epidemic Diseases Act is in force.
As per the information, after the notification the process of release of convicts would begin in the state with this amendment. As per the new amendment – convicted prisoners whose maximum punishment is seven years or less will be considered for emergency parole by the Superintendent of Prison for a period of 45 days or till such time that the State Government withdraws the notification issued under the Epidemics Diseases Act, 1897. The initial period of 45 days shall stand extended periodically in blocks of 30 days each, till such time that the said Notification is in force (in the event the said Notification is not issued within the first 45 days). The convicted prisoners shall report to the concerned police station within whose jurisdiction they are residing, once in every 30 days, the notification further stated. For convicted prisoners whose maximum sentence is above seven years shall on their application be appropriately considered for release on emergency parole by Superintendent of Prison, if the convict has returned to prison on time on last two releases (whether on parole or furlough), for the period of 45 days or till such time that the State Government withdraws the Notification issued under the Epidemics Diseases Act, 1897.
The new amendment will be applicable to convicted prisoners convicted for serious economic offences or bank scams or offences under Special Acts (other than IPC) like MCOC, PMLA, MPID, NDPS, and UAPA and also to foreign nationals and prisoners having their place of residence out of Maharashtra.