Reconsider escort charges for Mumbai train blast convict: Bombay High Court

The Bombay High Court directed the Maharashtra prison authority to reconsider the escort charges imposed on a Mumbai train blast convict seeking parole to attend his mother’s final rites.

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One of the Mumbai train blast convict, Muzammil Shaikh, approached the high court for 'death emergency parole' to perform his mother's last rites.

In Short

  • Bombay High Court orders reconsideration of convict's parole escort charges
  • Convict Muzammil Shaikh seeks parole for his mother's final rites
  • The court questions escort charges set at Rs 81,384 per day

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday directed the Maharashtra prison authority to reconsider the escort charges imposed on a Mumbai train blast convict seeking parole to attend his mother’s final rites.

The bench of Justices Bharti Dangre and Manjusha Deshpande noted the charges and remarked, "Rs 81,384 per day? This is more than a super five-star hotel."

Muzammil Shaikh, a Mira Road resident in Thane district and one of the Mumbai train blast convicts, approached the high court for 'death emergency parole' to perform his mother's last rites after she passed away on April 17.

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The Additional Public Prosecutor (APP) representing the prison authorities pointed out that Shaikh had been charged under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). The APP explained that the charges cover the cost of the officers needed for their escort and their transportation.

Shaikh's lawyers, Aisha Ansari and Ibrahim Harbat, noted that in 2019, the Bombay High Court had held that one day of death parole was insufficient. They highlighted a rule stating that police escort charges should consider the convict's financial condition, and requested three days of parole with the state bearing the escort costs.

Justice Dangre said, "No problem in giving seven days' parole, you are entitled to, but per day Rs 81,000 multiplied by seven would mean it will not be possible for the convict to pay. How will the person afford so much?"

Shaikh, in his plea, highlighted his lack of finances and income, having been behind bars for 18 years. He mentioned that both his parents had passed away, his brother was also imprisoned in the same case, and his only sister was a housewife, leaving him with no means to pay the escort charges.

The bench directed the APP to take further instructions on the issue of escort charges and will hear the plea again on June 13, as Shaikh needs the death emergency parole starting June 15.

Published By:
Vadapalli Nithin Kumar
Published On:
Jun 12, 2024