Other Such Cases of Probation
Probation can be granted in a wide array of cases by a judgment of a court.
On 18 July, the Odisha High Court released a convict on probation, while upholding his conviction in a 30-year-old attempt to murder case (punishable by a maximum of ten years and fine).
Pointing out that the occurrence “undoubtedly took place more than 30 years back”, the court said:
“The Petitioner was a young man at that point of time, but is now aged nearly 60 years. No criminal antecedents are reported against him. Therefore, in the considered view of this Court, ends of justice would be best served if the Petitioner is released as per the provision of Section 4 of the P.O. Act instead of serving the remaining part of the sentence in jail.”
In 2020, the Allahabad High Court had granted probation to a convict in a 28-year-old attempt to homicide case and said:
The ‘Nalla Thangal Syndrome’
It may be also pertinent to take a look at the origins of the legal discourse of ‘Nalla Thangal Syndrome’ in India.
While granting probation to the accused, the court had said:
We have, however, not spotted a direct equivalent of the ‘Nalla Thangal syndrome’ in other high courts of the country or even the Supreme Court so far. Some other Indian court might from time to time nod at the ‘Battered Women Syndrome’ (as it is employed in other US, UK and other courts abroad) or even refer to the Suyambukani judgment (such as the Gauhati High Court in Manju Lakra v State of Assam). A constitutional court might also look at the mitigating circumstances and reduce and alter the charges against an accused. But, there has been no applicable concept as clearly propounded as that by the Madras High Court.
Meanwhile, in their judgment in the more recent case, the Madras High Court noted, in an apparent reference to the society’s treatment of women who then go on to take such steps: