December 17, 2016 3:20:32 am
The Bombay High Court on Friday directed the Nashik jail authorities to file a report on the efforts it has made to trace Sajjad Moghul Pathan who was convicted for murder of lawyer Pallavi Purkayastha and has been absconding since he was granted parole in February. A Bench headed by Justice R V More was hearing appeal filed by the Maharashtra government seeking enhancement of life sentence awarded to Pathan by a sessions court in July last year.
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Special public prosecutor Ashok Mundargi, appearing for the government, had told the court that Pathan had jumped parole and is absconding.
The court was further informed that the father of the victim had expressed an apprehension that the authorities were not taking adequate steps to trace him and there were apprehensions that Pathan, who belonged to J&K, could have crossed the LoC.
Public prosecutor Sandeep Shinde, meanwhile, appearing for the jail authorities told the court that an FIR had been lodged against Pathan. The court has asked Shinde to take instructions from Nashik Jail superintendent and file a report.
“What steps and efforts have you taken to trace his (Pathan) whereabouts? Merely lodging FIR would not suffice. Trace him. This is a very serious matter. How can a person convicted in such a serious offence be granted parole? Bring all the concerned papers. We will monitor this,” Justice More said.
The court further observed that convicts jumping parole and absconding has become common and some stringent measures will have to be taken by the government to tackle the issue.
In August 2012, Pathan, a security guard at the building where Purkayastha was residing, cut off electricity supply to her flat and entered the same on the pretext of fixing the problem. He raped Purkayastha and stabbed her 16 times, causing her death.
Pathan was granted parole for 30 days by the authorities in the last week of February. He however, never returned to prison. HC is likely to take up the matter for further hearing on December 21.
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