The Haryana DGP has been ordered by the Punjab and Haryana High Court to look into a case in which a convict claims that he has already served more than two years and five months in custody in a case that dates back to 1999, but according to the police, he has not yet served the two years sentence that the Supreme Court imposed on him.
Justice Suvir Sehgal directed the State to probe into the matter and stated that “Let the Director General of Police, Haryana, look into the matter and file an affidavit.”
The petitioner’s re-arrest warrant, issued by a Rohtak court in 2020, was being challenged in the revision plea before the court. In 1999, Sunil, the petitioner, was charged with violating Sections 148, 332, 353, 333, 452 and 506 of the IPC.
Sunil was found guilty in 2002 and given an eight-year prison term by the trial court. After that, in 2010, he appealed to the High Court, and the sentence was reduced to four years. The Supreme Court reduced the sentence to two years in 2016.
In response to the petition, the police stated that according to a letter from the deputy superintendent of the Narnaul prison dated 2020, Sunil was detained there as a trial defendant from November 1999 to July 2001. After his conviction, he was detained there again from November 2002 to June 2003, and from June 2003 to August 2003, he was detained there again.
Additionally, it stated that according to the superintendent of the Rohtak Jail, he was freed from custody in October 2016. Nevertheless, the police reported that during a departmental investigation, “it was found that the petitioner never remained in any Jail during custody period from 17.11.1999 to 30.7.2001.” Accordingly, the re-arrest warrant was issued in 2019, according to the police.
“The petitioner has never been held in detention. On October 3, 2016, he contacted jail officials, but they did not take him into custody, according to the police.
However, the petitioner claims that during the time the appeal was pending, or 2 years and 05 months, he had already served time in prison that was longer than the sentence the Supreme Court had imposed on him. He has stated in the revision petition against the re-arrest warrant that the Rohtak Court issued the arrest warrant at the request of the Jail officials despite the fact that he has already been imprisoned. The petitioner has argued that,
The petitioner’s counsel claims that when the lower court issued the warrant, it overlooked the fact that the applicant was a subject of a lawful release and was not an absconder. The plea argues that “there is no legal provision under which a warrant of arrest can be issued against a legally released person.”