Published On : Fri, May 22nd, 2020

Lockdown: HC rejects Arun Gawli’s plea for parole extension

Don Arun Gawli

Nagpur: The Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court on Friday refused to extend parole granted to convicted gangster Arun Gawli and directed him to surrender before the Taloja prison authorities.

Gawli, serving life imprisonment in a 2008 murder case, was lodged in the Nagpur Central prison.

He was granted parole on March 13 to attend to his ill wife and was supposed to surrender on April 27.

The parole leave was, however, extended for a period of seven days due to the nation-wide lockdown amid the COVID- 19 pandemic.

On May 8, the period was extended for another seven days. Gawli then approached HC seeking further extension till May 31.

His advocate, Mir Nagman Ali, argued that due to the lockdown and since Mumbai has been declared a red zone, Gawli will be unable to travel from Mumbai to Nagpur to surrender.

The petition was opposed by additional public prosecutor A M Balpande who told the court that Gawli would be permitted to travel from his residence in Mumbai to the Taloja prison in Navi Mumbai where he can surrender, and where he shall be lodged until further orders.

A division bench of Justices Ravi Deshpande and Amit Borkar noted this was not a fit case where the court should invoke its jurisdiction and grant extension of parole, particularly when the state government had strongly opposed the plea.

“In our view, merely because the petitioner (Gawli) has not violated any of the conditions imposed upon him would not entitle him for grant of extension of parole,” the court said.

“The petition is opposed by the state government. It is for the jail authorities to look into the aspect of congestion, and sitting here in a courtroom we cannot judge it,” the bench said.