Saturday, April 20, 2024

Denying bail to undertrial with critical health condition amounts to death sentence: Gujarat HC

Denying bail to an undertrial with a critical health condition would amount to a death sentence, the Gujarat High Court said on Monday while granting bail to a 69-year-old murder accused suffering from a rare disease, Bar and Bench reported.

“The under-trial has a right to health under the right to life guaranteed by Article 21 of the Constitution of India and, therefore, in my opinion, this court as a Constitutional Court should exercise its prerogative writ to direct the release of the under-trial forthwith, in view of his health condition and advanced age,” Justice Divyesh Joshi said in its order.

The judge also noted that during the short span of incarceration, the petitioner named Jafar Sadrudin Dargahwala was to be taken to several hospitals within Gujarat and also in Mumbai, Maharashtra for treatment.

“…continued incarceration of the under-trial is incompatible with his health condition, thereby violating his right to health under Article 21 of the Constitution of India…Even denying bail to the applicant-accused when fully made aware about his critical health condition and the repercussions thereof if not provided adequate treatment, would be equivalent to imposition of death sentence to the applicant-accused,” Justice Joshi said.

“Therefore, the undertrial could certainly not be fit for being kept in prison, given the lack of facility to monitor the health of the under-trial or to give any kind of treatment in case of emergency. The under-trial could not be detained in prison as it would risk his life and there was every possibility of the health of the under-trial deteriorating,” said Justice Joshi.

“Taking any other view in the matter would amount to diluting rights available to prisoners to claim relief on health grounds under Article 21 of the Constitution, particularly when material available on record indicates that continued incarceration of such persons would amount to endangering their life,” the Court underlined, legal news website Bar and Bench reported.

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