No favouritism to Kunjanandan, HC told

State says he was granted parole as per rules

P.K. Kunjanandan, a CPI(M) leader undergoing jail term in the T.P. Chandrasekharan murder case, was not given any special privileges on political grounds while allowing parole, the State submitted in the Kerala High Court on Tuesday.

K. Snehalatha, Under Secretary in the Home Department, in a counter affidavit, submitted before the court that Kunjanandan was considered a well-behaved prisoner and no complaints had been received against him while in prison.

Rema’s petition

K.K. Rema, wife of slain Revolutionary Marxist Party leader T.P. Chandrasekharan, had moved the court challenging the release of Kunjanandan on leave/parole on political grounds.

The State submitted that no disciplinary action had been taken against the prisoner after conviction and sentence.

He had been granted parole only in accordance with the Kerala Prisons and Correctional Services (Management) Rules, 2014 based on police and probation reports.

Eligible leave

A prisoner is entitled to ordinary leave of 60 days in a calendar year and every well-behaved prisoner is granted such leave in accordance with the prison rules, on their request.

There is no maximum period of emergency leave that can be granted in a calender year. The government is vested with the power to extend emergency leave for a maximum period of 45 days at a time, it was submitted.

Between January 28, 2014 and June 26, 2017, the prisoner was provided emergency leave for 60 days and ordinary leave for 135 days.

He had availed himself of emergency leave option six times from January 28, 2014 and June 26, 2017. He also took emergency leave three times between August 31, 2017 to September 21, 2018 it was submitted.

The prisoner was released on ordinary leave not more than 60 days since his conviction and sentence in a calender year, which revealed that he had not availed himself of any ordinary leave in violation of the statutory process, the State submitted.

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