Parole Laws in India

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 Meaning of Parole: What is Parole in India?

Parole in India is basically defined as the release of the prisoner either temporarily or for a special purpose, before the completion of his sentence on the promise of good behavior and such promise should be honored which is provided within the Parole order. So basically, under parole in India, the released prisoner remains in the custody under the supervision of the paroling authority. Parole laws in India are administered by rules made under the Prison Act 1894, and Prison Act 1900. So, in India, each state has its parole rules with some minor alterations from each other.

Origin of Parole Law

The main credit for the development of Parole in modern times goes to Scottish geographer Alexander Maconochie, basically, he developed a plan which involves three, grades that might help the prisoners to return to society. The first two consisted of the promotions earned through good behavior, and study. The third grade was the foremost important because it involved conditional liberty outside the prison obeying the rules. If the prisoner violates any rules, then they would start all over the ranks.

Objectives of Parole Laws in India

The Parole Laws are basically progressive measures for the betterment of the prisoners, the main objective was to release prisoners on the leave as per Rule 1(A) and 19 of the Prisons (Furlough and Parole) Rules,1959 are as follows:

  1. The main purpose of Parole was that Prisoner can maintain continuity together with his family, friends, and community.
  2. To save the prisoner from the harmful effects of continuous prison life.
  3. Parole enables a prisoner to develop a feeling of self-confidence there is a life beyond prison.
  4. Parole helps a prisoner to develop a sense of hope and active interest in his life. 5. It aims to rehabilitate the prisoner.

Kinds of Parole in India

Custody Parole- It is granted in emergency situations and circumstances such as:

  1. Death of a family member
  2. Marriage of the family member
  3. Serious illness of a family member.
  4. Any other situations in which the presence of a family member is compulsory.

So, in Custody Parole, the Prisoner is surrounded by the Police for the specified time period. At the completion of the period, the prisoner will be brought back to jail.

Regular Parole— In Regular Parole, the prisoner is released based on certain terms and conditions. So, the Parolee (Prisoner) must follow the rules mentioned in the Parole. So, in regular Parole, there are no police with the prisoner like in custody parole, therefore, it is considered discretionary parole.

Certain Grounds for Regular Parole in India

  1. Marriage of the family member of a convict.
  2. Accident or Death of a family member of the convict.
  3. Delivery of the child by the wife of the convict if there is no family member of the convict to take care of the spouse at home.
  4. Serious damage to the life or property of the family of the convict including the damage caused by the natural calamities.

In the case of Regular Parole in India, the parolee must follow certain norms like:

  1. Parolee cannot marry (if not married before the offense he has committed)
  2. The parolee cannot go to bars or pubs for enjoyment.
  3. A parolee must refrain from drugs and intoxication.

Regular Parole under CrPC is granted only when the behavior of the prisoner is satisfactory, and the Superintendent of the Jail plays a major role in granting Regular Parole .

However, there are some convicts that are not eligible for release on parole in India:

  1. Prisoners who have been involved in criminal activity against the state or the prisoners currently involved in the criminal activity against the state.
  2. Prisoners who are a threat to the national security of India.
  3. Prisoners who are not citizens of India.
  4. Prisoners who are convicted of multiple murder or the murder & rape of a child is exempted from getting released on parole.

However, in some special cases, these convicts can get parole parole under CrPC at the discretion of the granting authority.

Advantages of Parole System

  1. Reduces Overcrowding of Jail Population: By the medium of the Parole System, it gives jail authorities an easier to supervise fewer people than the large population in jails.
  2. Reduces Taxpayer expenses: The cost of parole supervision is far easier and less expensive than the cost of getting bail from jail.
  3. Rewards people willing to work for Parole: Parole is not only granted to every prisoner; it is only granted to those prisoners which show good behavior and those who do not show good behavior will not get parole.

Disadvantages of Parole System

  1. Allows Criminal to start committing crimes again: The biggest disadvantage of the Parole System is that most of the criminals who get parole indulged in criminal activity mostly.
  2. Difficulty in Supervision: Since Parole officers already have a large number of offenders it is difficult to supervise every offender because there are limited Parole Officers to oversee every offender.
  3. Difficult to find work during Parole: There is a number of various issues which people face on parole: from unemployment to loneliness, convicts will start committing crimes as just being in jail is more comfortable than finding jobs.

Case Laws dealing with Parole Law 

  1. Election Commission of India V/S MukhtarAnsari & Another {Civil Appeal No. 10464}

The accused has over 40 criminal cases including that murder and kidnapping. The main facts of the case were that on February 16, Additional Sessions Judge Parole was granted to the accused, who has been serving as MLA from the Mau Constituency for the last four terms. After the order passed by the Additional Sessions Judge, Election Commission approached High Court under Article 324 of the Constitution, in which an order of the court would obstruct the Election Commission in conducting free and fair elections & and the Election Commission would be within its jurisdiction.

The Supreme court held that it’s a right of the candidate to contest elections, but it doesn’t translate into the right to canvass his candidature, and thus, the accused may influence the witnesses in the murder case of the BJP MLA Krishnanand Rai during which he’s facing trial. As a result, the courts have the authority to prevent abuse of parole power under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code (Parole under CrPC), and they overturn the order granting parole to accuse.

  1. Ashfaq V/S State of Rajasthan And Or’s (AIR 2017 SC 4986)

This case pertains to the serial bombing that took place on five trains across various stations during the Babri Masjid demolition in 1993 and the accused was booked under various provisions of the Terrorist and Prevention Act,1987. In this case, the appellant was found supplying weapons to the accused(terrorists).

The facts of the case were that the appellant first submitted his application for Parole to the District Parole Advisory Committee which was rejected because it has no jurisdiction and the fresh appeal was filled in the Rajasthan High Court but it was rejected on the ground of the heinous crime committed by the appellant, and the High court could not oppose the preference of the supreme court.

The petitioners argued that where other petitioners booked under the Terrorist & Prevention Activities Act,1987 were granted parole. Supreme Court was dissatisfied by the decision of the High court in which granting parole was the authority of the High Court, not the Supreme Court and in this case the appellant has nearly served 10 years of his sentence and the parole under CrPC was rejected on the adverse report of the concerned authority that accused could instill unsocial elements and can have an adverse effect on the younger generation.

  1. Vasram Gagji vs State of Gujarat & OR’s

The petitioner under Article 226 of the constitution challenged the order passed by the District Magistrate Rajkot whereby he rejected the parole leave application. The facts of the case were that the petitioner applied for parole on the medical grounds that he has a hernia and needs 60 days of medical leave. The court ruled that the district magistrate’s order was incorrect and that the petitioner was entitled to the parole.


Since there is no legal provision for granting parole in India as it is difficult for the common man as every state has its own set of rules regarding parole. Generally, parole in India is granted to an influential person i.e. if you are a celebrity it is easier to grant parole than a prisoner, so legal biases in society can be there as parole is misused on a number of occasions by influential people.


The provisions regarding parole are not well known it is quite cumbersome. Awareness was possible only after the media shows grants of parole in high-profile cases. So, the prisoners should be given equal opportunity for getting parole without any biasness, so the medium of parole, it allows them to reinstate into the environment and given a fair chance to rehabilitate into society.

The article has been contributed by Lakshay Mehta.

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