SC Stays Bombay HC's Order On Gangster-Turned-Politician Arun Gawli's Premature Release

SC Stays Bombay HC’s Order On Gangster-Turned-Politician Arun Gawli’s Premature Release

New Delhi: Supreme Court on Monday stayed the order of remission granted by Bombay High Court to gangster turned-politician Arun Gawli. He is currently serving life imprisonment for the 2007 murder case of Shiv Sena corporator Kamlakar Jamsandekar.

Bombay HC had earlier said Gawli is ‘entitled’ to benefits of the 2006 remission policy by the Maharashtra government and directed authorities to ‘pass consequential order’ in that regard.

A vacation bench of Justices Aravind Kumar and Sandeep Mehta heard the state government’s plea opposing the premature release of Gawli, who was convicted under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).

Nagpur Bench Of Bombay HC Allows Plea Of Gawli For Premature Release

On April 5, the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court had allowed Gawli’s plea for premature release based on the remission policy dated January 10, 2006. This policy was in effect at the time of his conviction on August 31, 2012. Gawli argued that he met all the conditions of the 2006 policy, and the rejection of his application for premature release by state authorities was unjust and arbitrary.

Gawli, now 65 years old, claimed to have been certified as weak by the Medical Board, qualifying him for the benefits of the 2006 policy. However, the state government opposed his plea, citing revised guidelines from March 18, 2010. These guidelines stipulate that convicts of organized crime should not be granted premature release unless they have served 40 years of actual imprisonment.

Bombay HC Rejects State Govt’s Argument

The high court rejected the state government’s argument, labeling it “totally misconceived.” It stated that the 2010 guidelines were general in nature, while the 2006 policy specifically catered to prisoners who were of advanced age and physically weak. Therefore, the 2010 guidelines did not apply in this case.

The high court concluded that Gawli was entitled to the benefits of the 2006 remission policy, which was in effect at the time of his conviction. It also determined that convicts under the MCOCA could not be excluded from availing the benefits of this policy. The court stated, “In view of the above discussion, we hold that the petitioner is entitled to the benefits flowing from the remission policy dated January 10, 2006, which was prevailing on the date of his conviction. We also hold that by applying the rule of ejusdem generis, convicts of MCOC Act cannot be excluded from availing the benefits of the said policy. Writ Petition is accordingly allowed.”

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