On the other hand, the government refused to release Mr Hanumant on grounds that as per the government notifications of 1992 and 2010.
Mumbai: Terming the action of the Maharashtra government and the Paithan jail authorities as “discriminatory”, the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay high court ordered early release of a life convict in a murder case. Hanumant Kadam had approached the HC, contending that his real brother who was a co-accused in the case was tried together with him and convicted by the very same judgment, but released by the Paithan Open Prison authorities on completion of 14 years in jail. However, in his case, the authorities held that he could not be released and would have to serve 24 years behind the bars for the same crime.
Mr Hanumant had approached the HC through advocate Neel Gavankar, seeking directions to the government and jail authorities to release him from prison on grounds that he was entitled to the benefit of premature release. Advocate Gavankar pointed out to the court that the state government by exercising its powers under sub-section (1) of section 432 of the Criminal Procedure Code, had released Mr Hanumant’s brother, Ashok Kadam, on completion of 14 years of actual imprisonment. Following this order, Mr Ashok was released in February 2017.
On the other hand, the government refused to release Mr Hanumant on grounds that as per the government notifications of 1992 and 2010, he had been placed under categories 3(B) and 4(D), respectively, and could not be released before completing 24 years of imprisonment.
Mr Hanumant contended that his brother and he were convicted for the same crime but the government applied different yardsticks and the petitioner got the raw end of the stick.
The state in its reply informed the division bench of justices Prasanna Varale and Vibha Kankanwadi that it could not bring any supportive material in case of Mr Ashok’s early release as all documents of the department had been destroyed in the fire that broke out at Mantralaya in 2012.
After hearing all the arguments, the bench observed, “It is more than clear that the state applied two different yardsticks to similarly sentenced convicts. The respondents are directed to release the petitioner forthwith if not required in any other case.”