STATE OF M.P. & ORS. VERSUS KHUMAN SINGH & ANR.

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.2562 OF 2014

(ARISING OUT OF SLP (CRL.) NO.1009 of 2007)

STATE OF M.P. & ORS. …APPELLANTS

VERSUS

KHUMAN SINGH & ANR. …RESPONDENTS

The question raised for our consideration is whether the High Court ought to release a person under the provisions of Madhya Pradesh Prisoner’s Release on Probation Act, 1954 read with M.P. Prisoner’s Release on Probation Rules, 1964 (for short “Act and the Rules”), if it is found that rejection of the prayer for said release by the competent authority was not proper. The respondent was tried for a charge of murder under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code and convicted under the said provision in Session Trial No.106 of 1988 and sentenced to undergo life imprisonment vide Order dated 26th July, 1989. He applied for release under the provisions of aforesaid Act and the Rules. His request was considered by the statutory Board, in compliance of the Division Bench order of the High Court in Writ Petition No.1138 of 2002 but he was not found entitled to be released. The opinion of the Board was accepted by the State Government.

The said opinion and the order of the State Government are as follows :

“In the light of the background of the case, it is clear that the past antecedents of the prisoners are not good. The prisoner along with other co-accused persons mercilessly murdered the deceased with the knot of the saree. The District Magistrate has not recommended the release and the opposite party has also objection on release of the prisoner. The State Probation Board is of the unanimous opinion that it would not be appropriate to release the prisoner on probation. Therefore, the State Government is recommended that it would not be appropriate to release the prisoner on probation. Recommendation of the State Probation Board Dt. 23.12.2002 are accepted vide Memorandum No. F. 3-5/2003/3/Jail dated 3.1.2003 of the Jail Department, State of Madhya Pradesh.”

Aggrieved by the above, the respondent preferred a writ petition which was allowed by Order dated 5th December, 2003. It may be mentioned that prior to the passing of the impugned order, the Division Bench of the High Court vide Judgment dated 11th April, 2002 in LPA No.212 of 2001 in the matter of Subrato Bachaspati vs. State of M.P.1, had expressed the view that if the relatives of the victim of the crime do not object and there is no evidence of extreme brutality, the High Court itself could direct release notwithstanding the opinion of the Board and the State….read more