GUWAHATI, Nov 23 - In an interesting development, a group of prisoners undergoing life imprisonment in the Guwahati Central Jail has now sought parole citing the Centre�s latest demonetisation move as the cause.
As many as 11 life convicts languishing in the Guwahati Central Jail have jointly moved the Gauhati High Court seeking appropriate directions to the Centre, the State government, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the jail authority to make necessary arrangements to allow prisoners to visit their respective banks or to move out on parole for a few days so that they can do the needful.
They also appealed to the High Court to issue directions to the respondents, more particularly the RBI, to provide facilities or arrangements by way of sending officials of the respective banks to the jail premises for exchanging the demonetised money available with the prisoners.
Advocate Amit Goyal, appearing for the inmates before the High Court said that until and unless arrangements as regards to the exchange or deposit of cash in possession of the prisoners which has been demonetised by the government, are made, the prisoners will suffer from natural justice and bias, contradicting the provisions of the Constitution of India in respect of enforcing their fundamental rights.
�Not making arrangements for exchange of demonetised currencies of the prisoners amounts to denial of equality before the law or the equal protection as given to the Citizens of India under Article 14 of the Constitution of India,� Goyal pointed out.
Goyal added that the jail inmates are not in an equal position in comparison to others to operate their bank accounts in exchanging or depositing their demonetised currencies.
Since the prisoners are not in an equal status in exchanging or depositing their demonetised cash in hand, they should be provided with some special procedure or mode which could facilitate them in exchanging or depositing their specified older currencies. Since as on date nothing has been done for the inmates, these 11 inmates of the Guwahati Central Jail approached the Gauhati High Court by way of filing a writ petition seeking direction to the Central government and others.
Goyal, assisted by advocate Arunabh Choudhury, appeared for the inmates namely Madan Kumar, Dipen Kalita, Prafulla Das, Arup Sharma, Manoj Das, Md Tamiz Ali, Md Thakur Ali, Jogot Boro, Md Safiqul Ali, Dipen Mahanta and Moon Das.
The Central government had, on November 8, introduced a demonetisation scheme vide notification No. SO 3408(E) which has been published in the official Gazette of India.