Gujarat: Parole details of convicts not revealed | Vadodara News – Times of India

VADODARA: Witnesses in the Bilkis Bano gangrape case have alleged that the convicts were given frequent parole and they spent a lot of time at their homes in Randhikpur village in Limkheda taluka of Dahod. One of the witnesses had sought information about the paroles given to the convicts under the Right to Information Act (RTI) in 2020. But the Godhra sub-jail refused to provide the details citing safety concerns of the convicts.
Firoz alias Pintu, a resident of Devgadh Baria, had filed the RTI wherein he had sought information on the rule that allowed the transfer of the convicts from Vadodara central jail to a sub-jail in Godhra, their parole applications, reasons, name and addresses.
In August 2020, the Godhra sub-jail authorities in reply to RTI plea said that the convicts were given parole under the Bombay Furlough and Parole Rules, 1959 and the rules are available on the website of the Gujarat prison department. The applicant was asked to download the rules from there.
The reply further stated that the information about the parole sought was related to the affected party and hence a notice was issued to the convicts to take their consent. But the convicts objected to giving the details of their parole applications, reasons, names and addresses by arguing that this information had nothing to do with the public interest.
According to the RTI reply, the convicts also said that Bilkis case was very sensitive and releasing their names, addresses and details of the parole application may endanger their security.
Citing the RTI Act rules, the jail authorities stated in reply that the information sought endangered an individual, it is about personal life and not related to public interest hence it can’t be furnished. The reply also states that the convicts were transferred under Transfer of Prisoners rules in Bombay Jail Manual. “The RTI application was done as the convicts were frequently seen at their homes and one of them even attended a political event.
The witnesses were concerned as to how the convicts got parole regularly. Also, how did the life imprisonment convicts get transferred to a sub-jail,” said Abdul Razzak Mansuri, one of the witnesses. “We had made representation to the police as well as district collector about the convicts getting parole but nothing happened,” Mansuri claimed. All the 11 convicted of gang rape and murder, were released from jail on August 15 under the remission policy.