Saturday, 23 June 2018

Whether family members of accused can directed to bear medical expenses of accused?

 Learned counsel for the petitioner stated that the
injection costs about Rs. 10,000/- and at some places, on
account of discount, it is available for almost Rs. 8000/-,
however, the family of the petitioner is asked to supply the
said injection and other medicines by the Hospital
Authorities. This situation cannot be countenanced. It is the

duty of the State to take care of the petitioner who is in their
custody.
5. In Pt. Parmanand Katara vs. Union of India and
ors. - (1989) 4 SCC 286, the Hon'ble Supreme Court has
held that Article 21 of the Constitution casts the obligation
on the State to preserve life. The patient, whether he be an
innocent person or be a criminal liable to punishment under
the laws of the society, it is the obligation of those who are in
charge of the health of the community to preserve life.
6. In Rama Murthy vs. State of Karnataka – (1997) 2
SCC 642, the Hon'ble Supreme Court, after reference to the
recommendations in the Mulla Committee report has held
that the society has an obligation towards prisoner's health
for two reasons. First, the prisoners do not enjoy the access
to the medical expertise that free citizens have. Their
incarceration places limitation of such access; no physician
of choice, no second opinion, and few if any specialists.
Secondly, because of the conditions of their incarceration,
inmates are exposed to more health hazards than free

citizens. Prisoners therefore, suffer from a double handicap.
7. Even recently, in Re-Inhuman Conditions in 1382
Prisons – (2017) 10 SCC 658, the Hon'ble Supreme Court
has reiterated that providing medical facilities to inmates in
prisons is a human right. The State Governments were
directed to state the availability of the medical assistance to
the prisoners and take remedial steps wherever necessary.
8. Taking into consideration the aforesaid legal position
enunciated by the Hon'ble Supreme Court, we were unable
to accept the approach of the respondents in the present
case. The record indicates that the Doctors who are treating
the petitioner have themselves advised that the petitioner
must be administered certain medications. The State, in such
circumstances, cannot avoid its responsibility or require the
petitioner or his relatives to arrange for such medicines,
particularly when there is material on record which indicates
that neither the petitioner nor his relatives are really in a
position to afford such medicines. In this view of the matter,

by order dated 13.3.2018 passed by this Court, it was
directed that adequate arrangements be made to see that
the petitioner is provided the injections as well as other
medicines required by him as advised by the doctor at State
cost. In order to see that this order is complied with, we had
adjourned the matter from time to time.
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CRIMINAL WRIT PETITION NO. 5301 OF 2017

Ajaysingh Kuvarsingh Dahiya Vs The State of Maharashtra & Anr. 


CORAM : SMT. V.K. TAHILRAMANI, Acting C.J. &
M.S. SONAK, J.
DATE : JUNE 18, 2018.




1. Heard both sides.
2. Through this petition, the petitioner has directly
approached this Court seeking release on parole on the
ground of his own illness. The case of the petitioner is that
he is seriously unwell. In view of the contention of the
petitioner, the medical report of the petitioner was called.
Learned APP submitted the medical report of the petitioner

which shows that the petitioner is suffering from multiple
sclerosis. The report along with other documents tendered
by Shri. Narendrakumar Ahire, Jailor Group II, Mumbai Central
Prison was taken on record and marked "X colly". The
documents show that the petitioner has been admitted in JJ
Hospital, Mumbai on 3.3.2018.
3. The medical report dated 11.11.2017 of JJ Hospital
which is annexed at page 14 of the petition shows that the
petitioner has been advised Avonex injection every week
which is extremely important to the patient and if he misses
the same, the symptoms will reoccur.
4. Learned counsel for the petitioner stated that the
injection costs about Rs. 10,000/- and at some places, on
account of discount, it is available for almost Rs. 8000/-,
however, the family of the petitioner is asked to supply the
said injection and other medicines by the Hospital
Authorities. This situation cannot be countenanced. It is the

duty of the State to take care of the petitioner who is in their
custody.
5. In Pt. Parmanand Katara vs. Union of India and
ors. - (1989) 4 SCC 286, the Hon'ble Supreme Court has
held that Article 21 of the Constitution casts the obligation
on the State to preserve life. The patient, whether he be an
innocent person or be a criminal liable to punishment under
the laws of the society, it is the obligation of those who are in
charge of the health of the community to preserve life.
6. In Rama Murthy vs. State of Karnataka – (1997) 2
SCC 642, the Hon'ble Supreme Court, after reference to the
recommendations in the Mulla Committee report has held
that the society has an obligation towards prisoner's health
for two reasons. First, the prisoners do not enjoy the access
to the medical expertise that free citizens have. Their
incarceration places limitation of such access; no physician
of choice, no second opinion, and few if any specialists.
Secondly, because of the conditions of their incarceration,
inmates are exposed to more health hazards than free

citizens. Prisoners therefore, suffer from a double handicap.
7. Even recently, in Re-Inhuman Conditions in 1382
Prisons – (2017) 10 SCC 658, the Hon'ble Supreme Court
has reiterated that providing medical facilities to inmates in
prisons is a human right. The State Governments were
directed to state the availability of the medical assistance to
the prisoners and take remedial steps wherever necessary.
8. Taking into consideration the aforesaid legal position
enunciated by the Hon'ble Supreme Court, we were unable
to accept the approach of the respondents in the present
case. The record indicates that the Doctors who are treating
the petitioner have themselves advised that the petitioner
must be administered certain medications. The State, in such
circumstances, cannot avoid its responsibility or require the
petitioner or his relatives to arrange for such medicines,
particularly when there is material on record which indicates
that neither the petitioner nor his relatives are really in a
position to afford such medicines. In this view of the matter,

by order dated 13.3.2018 passed by this Court, it was
directed that adequate arrangements be made to see that
the petitioner is provided the injections as well as other
medicines required by him as advised by the doctor at State
cost. In order to see that this order is complied with, we had
adjourned the matter from time to time.
9. Learned counsel for the petitioner stated that all
necessary injections and medicines have been supplied to
the petitioner at State cost. In between, the petitioner was
also required to be hospitalized. Accordingly, he was
admitted in J.J. Hospital, Mumbai and he was discharged on
16.3.2018.
10. Learned APP has produced the latest medical papers of
the petitioner which show that his condition is now stable
and he is being sent for treatment to JJ Hospital for further
treatment and management as and when required. Learned
counsel for the petitioner fairly admits that the petitioner is

being given all the medicines at State's cost and he is being
taken to the hospital as and when required. In this view of
the matter, learned counsel for the petitioner states that he
does not wish to press this petition, hence, this petition is
disposed of as not pressed. Rule is discharged. Needless to
state that even if this petition is disposed of, the Prison
Authorities and the State will continue to provide necessary
medicines, injections and treatment to the petitioner free of
cost and if found necessary, the petitioner will be admitted in
the hospital.
[ M.S. SONAK, J ] [ ACTING CHIEF JUSTICE ]

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