The case of premature release of gangster Arun Gawli reaches Supreme Court, hearing will be held on Monday

Ananya Shroff
4 Min Read

New Delhi: The Supreme Court will on Monday hear the Maharashtra government's plea challenging the Bombay High Court order paving the way for the premature release of gangster-turned-politician Arun Gawli. Gawli is serving life sentence in a murder case. A vacation bench of Justices Arvind Kumar and Sandeep Mehta will hear the state government's plea opposing Gawli's premature release. Gawli was also convicted under the provisions of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA). On April 5, the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court had accepted Gawli's plea seeking direction to the state government for his premature release on the basis of the remission policy of January 10, 2006, which was in force on the date of his conviction on August 31, 2012.

Gawli, who is serving life imprisonment for the 2007 murder of Mumbai Shiv Sena corporator Kamlakar Jamsandekar, has claimed that he has complied with all the conditions of the 2006 policy. He said that the rejection of his application for premature release by the state authorities is unjust and arbitrary and should be set aside. Gawli has argued that he has completed 65 years of age and has been declared feebleminded by a medical board, making him eligible to avail the benefits of the policy.

Which argument of the state government was rejected?

The high court rejected the state government's argument as “totally misconceived” and said the revised 2010 guidelines were general in nature. It had said the 2006 policy was specifically framed for the benefit of prisoners who were old and physically weak and the 2010 guidelines would not apply at all. The court had given the state government authorities four weeks from the date of uploading the order to pass orders in this regard. However, on May 9, the state government again moved the high court and sought four months' time to implement the April 5 order, saying it had challenged the decision in the apex court.

What did the High Court say in its order?

In its May 9 order, the high court said, “It is informed that a special leave petition has been filed before the Supreme Court. The summer vacations of the Supreme Court will commence from May 20, 2024. Based on our order, the petitioner is required to be released and if his release is postponed for a few months, it would curtail his liberty. However, since the special leave petition has been filed/registered only yesterday, we deem it appropriate to grant some time to the state to obtain the necessary orders from the Supreme Court.” It gave the state government another four weeks to implement its April 5 order to release Gawli and made it clear that no further extension would be given.

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