In this critical situation of the COVID 19 pandemic, a notification was issued on 8th May 2020 by the state home department which amended the Maharashtra Prisons (Furlough and Parole) Rules 1959, by “automatically extending” emergency parole to decongest jails.
On 14th September, clarification was made by the division bench of Justice T V Nalawade and Justice M G Sewlikar that the notification included every prisoner except the one convicted under special laws like the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, etc on hearing the plea filed by six inmates Aurangabad and Ahmednagar districts open prisons, through advocate Rupesh Jaiswal. The Aurangabad Bench of the Bombay High Court clearly stated that the inmates who have been granted the parole, need not apply for the extension of it every time the period expires. Initially, the period of parole would be 45 days and then it would extend periodically in blocks of 30 days each.
The court also noted that the notification was only issued keeping in mind the lockdown, the rising COVID 19 cases, and its difficult situations. No other interpretation should be drawn for the issue of notification.