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Mumbai: ‘Parole’ man Arun Gawli now out for wife’s ear surgery

Updated on: 14 April,2021 07:50 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Diwakar Sharma , Samiullah Khan | ,

Arun Gawli has used parole and furlough rules to successfully stay out of prison for almost a year since 2015; he has now been granted another 45-day break

Mumbai: ‘Parole’ man Arun Gawli now out for wife’s ear surgery

Gawli was recently seen celebrating his birthday with his men amid the background music of Don's title song

Gangster-turned-politician Arun Gawli seems to be on a roll. After remaining out of jail on parole and furloughs for almost a year since 2015, the diminutive ‘Daddy’ of Dagdi Chawl has now secured a 45-day parole for his wife’s ear surgery.

Clad in white kurta, pyjamas and a cap, Gawli’s terror continued for almost three decades during which he was arrested many times but could not be convicted as witnesses often turned hostile.

Gawli’s downfall started after his men shot dead Shiv Sena corporator Kamlakar Jamsandekar on March 2, 2007. The don was arrested on May 21, 2008 and was handed a life sentence by a MCOCA court in 2012. 

In the past five years, the lifer is out of jail for 311 days through four furlough breaks and five parole pleas. This is excluding his latest parole granted to him by the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court.

Supreme Court advocate Utsav Bains said furlough is remission of the sentence to ensure a prisoner retains social relations. “Parole may be denied if the competent authority is satisfied on valid grounds that release of a prisoner on parole would be against the interest of society or prison administration.”

“Every time the parole was granted by the High Court only,” the former gangster’s daughter Geeta Gawli told mid-day, justifying the leave.

On December 26, 2020, the 65-year-old gangster, who is doing his time in a Nagpur jail, filed a parole application for the surgery of his wife who is suffering from Chronic Suppurative Otitis Media to the left ear.

On January 18, the prison superintendent called for a report from the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Agripada division in Mumbai. “His wife suffers from illness as mentioned in the application and Mumbai-based Jaslok hospital has recommended her to undergo surgery. But the son and other relative of the Gawli are capable of taking care of her,” said the ACP Ravindranath Pawar in his report to the prison authority.

The report also cited a case against Gawli’s wife Asha when he was out on parole April 17 and 25, 2018. “He (Gawli) is a leader of syndicate and involved in a number of criminal activities,” reads the police report.

Acting on the report, the prison authority rejected Gawli’s plea, prompting him to move the HC. “If he [Gawli] is released on parole leave, there is danger to the complainants and witnesses [in the case registered against his wife],” the prison authority told the court.

The HC then granted a 45-day parole to Gawli under Rule 19 of Prisons (Bombay Furlough and Parole) Rules, 1959, which cites “serious illness or death of any member in the family or a nearest relative or a pregnant woman prisoner for delivery” as key reasons for relief. 

Retired ACP Suresh Walishetty said hardened criminals generally give serious excuses to avail parole or furlough and enjoy the period as holiday. “There was a time when Gawli felt safe inside prison as he was leading a rival gang of Dawood Ibrahim. He would run a darbar inside jail. But now most of the time he wants to remain out on parole,” Walishetty said.

Former top prison officer Meeran Borwankar said, “The police report was against the grant of parole to Gawli. But if HC intervened and granted it, the police and prison authorities have to comply. Judiciary can overrule an executive decision regarding a prisoner.”

After walking out of jail, Gawli was seen celebrating his birthday with his men amid the background music of Don's title song.

Borwankar added, “There are various professional policing methods to keep a check on his activities during parole, which I am sure police will resort to.” 

Gawli’s ‘PF’ account
5 breaks             - 199 days
Four (each 28) - 112 days
Total             - 311 days

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