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  • Many people have been perplexed by the distinction between furlough and parole, both of which benefit the accused.
  • The Supreme Court took up the issue on Wednesday, explaining the basic differences between furlough and parole, as well as the rules that govern their granting.
  • The court also cited several precedents and stressed the need of striking a balance between two opposing interests.
  • When the bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and BV Nagarathna made the observation, it was considering an appeal from the Gujarat High Court, which had granted two weeks' furlough to self-proclaimed godman and rape prisoner Asaram's son Narayan Sai. Furlough is allowed to break the monotony of imprisonment, while parole is granted to the prisoner to address a specific need, according to a bench led by Justice BV Nagarathna.
  • The court went on to say that both furlough and parole are intended to be temporary releases from custody.


  • Parole is provided to allow a prisoner to address a specific need, whereas furlough is awarded when a certain number of years have passed without cause.
  • 'The purpose of granting a furlough is to break the monotony of jail and allow the convict to retain contact with his or her family and integrate into society.'
  • Although a prisoner can request furlough without giving a cause, he or she does not have an absolute legal right to do so.
  • ‘Furloughs must be assessed against the public interest, and certain groups of prisoners may be denied,' the court stated.
  • Meanwhile, the court cited several precedents and stated that when granting parole or furlough, a balance must be struck between two competing interests: the convict's reform and the public purpose and interests of society on the one hand, and the public purpose and interests of society on the other.
  • The bench pointed out that the Bombay Furlough and Parole Rules do not give a prisoner a legal right to be released on furlough.
  • Rule 3 and Rule 4 govern the granting of furlough. While Rule 3 establishes the conditions for granting furlough to prisoners spending varying lengths of time in jail, Rule 4 puts restrictions.
  • Rule 3's usage of the phrase "may be released" denotes the lack of an absolute right. This is further emphasized in Rule 17, which stipulates that the Rules do not grant a prisoner a legal right to request furlough.
  • What did you understand as the main difference between Parole and Furlough?
  • Should furlough be given to rape accused persons?

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