Can’t deny prisoners opportunity to attend family functions: Punjab and Haryana high court
The Punjab and Haryana high court allowed bail to a murder accused while stating that relatives also long for the prisoner’s presence in family events; the petitioner had sought to attend the marriage functions of his sister’s two daughters in police presence even as the Haryana government had opposed it.
The Punjab and Haryana high court (HC) has asserted that a prisoner should not ordinarily be denied the opportunity of attending a significant family event as his relatives also long for his presence.
The HC bench of justice Anoop Chitkara allowed a murder accused to attend the marriage functions of his sister’s two daughters in police presence even as the state had opposed it.
“The prisoner himself not only longs for presence, cooperation, support, and even financial help of the family but is also expected by the near and dear ones to reciprocate by attending their sacrosanct family functions, despite such attendance carrying the risk of social boycott or dejection,” the court observed.
The plea was from one Suraj of Rewari, an accused in an FIR registered on allegations of murder, among other offences, in May 2019 in Rewari. The trial court had dismissed his plea for attending the marriage function.
He had submitted that he has to perform a ritual, being the maternal uncle. In the plea, however, he had admitted that he had two more brothers. But he pleaded that his presence was also required in the marriage.
As the state was opposing the concession, he had even requested that he would be contended if allowed to go to attend the marriage function in police custody.
While opposing the interim bail, the state had admitted to the fact that there was a ceremony called bhat on April 29, and marriage of his sister’s two daughters is to take place on May 5.
The state as well as the complainant’s counsel had opposed the interim bail.
The court allowed the plea observing that in ordinary circumstances, prisoners should not be denied the opportunity of attending a significant family function merely because the immediate relatives, in addition to friends and the neighbours, have become accustomed to usually caring for the family members of a person under incarceration and the family is not dependent on the prisoner. Now, jail superintendent has been directed to make necessary arrangements for the visit of the petitioner to attend marriage rituals in police presence.