The difference between Parole and Furlough:
Undoubtedly, parole and furlough are parts of the penal and prison system for humanising prison administration but the two have different purposes. Furlough is a matter of right but parole is not. Furlough is to be granted to the prisoner periodically irrespective of any particular reason merely to enable him to retain family and social ties and avoid ill-effects of continuous prison life. The period of furlough is treated as remission of sentence.
Parole, on the other hand, is not a matter of right and may be denied to a prisoner even when he makes out sufficient case for release on parole if the competent authority is satisfied on valid grounds that release of a prisoner on parole would be against the interest of society or the prison administration.
Thus, it could not be contended that a prisoner released on parole and surrendering later, is disqualified for furlough. His application for release on furlough has to be considered on merits and cannot be rejected at the threshold.
Referring to the provisions of Section 59 of the Prisons Act (9 of 1894) and Rules 4 and 6 of the Prison (Bombay Furlough and Parole) Rules, 1959, the Supreme Court once again brought out the distinction between furlough and parole in State of Maharashtra and another v. Suresh Pandurang Darvekar.
The Court in this case held that underlying object of the rules relating to ‘parole’ and ‘furlough’ are mentioned in the All India Jail Committee’s Report and the Model Prison Manual. These two have two different purposes. It is not necessary to state reasons while releasing the prisoner on furlough but in case of parole, reasons have to be indicated. Again, release on furlough cannot be said to be an absolute right of the prisoner.
It is allowed periodically under the rules irrespective of any particular reason merely with a view to enabling the prisoner to have family association and keep up family and social ties and avoid ill-effect of continuous prison life. It is treated as a period spent in prison. But as against this, the period spent on parole is not counted as remission of sentence. Since the furlough is granted for no particular reason, it can be denied in the interest of society, whereas parole is to be granted only on sufficient cause being shown.
In the instant case, the accused person had allegedly committed rape on his step-mother and was convicted for offences punishable under sections 376 and 354 of ГРС and was sentenced to seven years with fine. Despite objections to the release of offender on furlough by the District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police, on the ground that he was likely to disturb peace and tranquillity, he was ordered to be released on furlough on furnishing surety of amount lying in deposit with jail authorities.
The State appealed against the order of the High Court. The Supreme Court held that since Rule 4(4) of the Bombay Prisoners Furlough Rules provided that furlough can be granted only when recommended by DM/SP and Rule 6 made it mandatory that unless the prisoner has a relative willing to receive him while on furlough and enters into a surety bond, he shall not be granted furlough. As the sister refused to enter into a surety bond, lib release on furlough was Illegal and State Government’s appeal was allowed.