Mumbai: In a trend setting policy, Maharashtra has become the first State in the country to deny furlough (an entitled leave) to a prisoner convicted of rape. The new policy is a result of 30 amendments in the prison manual. Its implementation has begun, though the official notification has not been printed yet. “Now, the rapists will be treated at par with the convicts in the heinous crimes. They might get parole but not the furlough,” an official with the Home Department said.
Parole is a leave granted in case of emergencies in the convict’s family. A convict can get parole for maximum 14 days. Women activists have welcomed the move. “It will send a stern message among the rapists,” said Varsha Bhosale of the BJP.
Activist Sushma Deo said that the policy should be implemented rigorously.The State has also made some amendments in the rules for furlough. Earlier, each prisoner would get 14 days furlough and an extension of another 14 days. “Now, the prisoners convicted for less than 10 years would get furlough of 21 days and extension of seven days. Those convicted for more than 10 years would get furlough of 28 days,” said Bhushan Upadhyay, Inspector General (Prisons).