Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has asked the Maharashtra government to consider afresh the plea of a 1993 Mumbai blasts convict for release on parole.
"Merely because the petitioner is a convict undergoing a sentence in the case would not render him dis-entitled from claiming his release on parole (temporary leave of absence from jail)," Justices P V Hardas and Mridula Bhatkar said while hearing the petition of Mohammed Mira Shaikh.
Shaikh, serving life imprisonment in Nashik Central Prison since 2008, had applied for release on parole for 30 days on the ground that his wife was sick. However, the plea was rejected in January by the Nashik Divisional Commissioner, who relied upon a police report objecting to his release.
The report said that Shaikh was involved in the serial blasts and was closely associated with prime absconding accused Dawood Ibrahim and Tiger Memon. He might abscond if he was released on parole, the report said.
The report also pointed out that Shaikh had surrendered two weeks late when he was released for a temporary period earlier.
Shaikh then moved the Home Department, but Chief Secretary also turned down his plea on the same ground.
Shaikh moved the Bombay High Court, pleading that he had been released on temporary leave on five occasions earlier and he had never misused the liberty. He once surrendered two weeks late because of a personal problem, his counsel argued.
The court last week asked the authorities to consider his plea afresh, saying that only because he was convicted in 1993 blasts case, he cannot be deprived of the parole facility.
Shaikh had been convicted for organising the landing of arms and ammunition in Gujarat and their distribution to co-accused in Mumbai. He was sentenced to life imprisonment by TADA court here in 2007.