3-judge HC bench to decide on bail for prisoners found with phone in jail – chandigarh
A three judge bench of the Punjab and Haryana high court will now decide whether a prisoner found using phone inside the jail will be disentitled for parole or bail only upon conviction by a court.
The reference in this regard has been sent by high court bench of justice S Muralidhar and justice Avneesh Jhingan as it came across conflicting judgments of different division benches.
“While a decision rendered by the coordinate benches will be binding on the subsequent benches of equal strength and if there is a conflict, the only way in which such conflict can be resolved is to refer the issue of the correctness of contrary views of coordinate benches to a larger bench,” the division bench recorded, while referring the matter to the chief justice to constitute a full bench comprising three judges.
The reference has been raised in a plea filed by one Kulwant Singh from Haryana, who had sought three weeks parole.
The bail/ parole are granted under Haryana Good Conduct Prisoners (Temporary Release) Act, 1988. While one view was that a prisoner found to have either used or be in possession of a mobile phone/SIM card is enough to disqualify for parole or furlough. While the other view was that unless such a prisoner is convicted by a court for such offence, which is punishable under the Prisons Act, 1894, the prisoner will not be disentitled to consideration for temporary release on parole or furlough.