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Bombay HC Rejects Sudha Bharadwaj's Petition Seeking Bail On Medical Grounds [Read Order]

Nitish Kashyap
28 Aug 2020 8:27 AM GMT
Bombay HC Rejects Sudha Bharadwajs Petition Seeking Bail On Medical Grounds [Read Order]
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The Bombay High Court on Friday dismissed Sudha Bharadwaj's appeal challenging an order passed by a Special NIA Court rejecting her bail on medical grounds. Court noted that in view of the facilities being provided to her, she is taken care of as far as her health conditions are concerned.Division bench of Justice RD Dhanuka and Justice VG Bisht were hearing the criminal appeal filed by...

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The Bombay High Court on Friday dismissed Sudha Bharadwaj's appeal challenging an order passed by a Special NIA Court rejecting her bail on medical grounds. Court noted that in view of the facilities being provided to her, she is taken care of as far as her health conditions are concerned.

Division bench of Justice RD Dhanuka and Justice VG Bisht were hearing the criminal appeal filed by the activist and lawyer, who suffers from several comorbidities. Her appeal states that due to her age and pre-existing medical conditions like diabetes, hypertension and a history of pulmonary tuberculosis, Bharadwaj is at a high risk of contracting coronavirus in prison, and that this infection in her present medical condition would be life threatening.

Interestingly, a medical report submitted by jail authorities on July 21 states that Bharadwaj suffers from ischemic disease among other ailments, which leads to reduced supply of blood in the body. However, after a bench headed by Justice AA sayed sought a fresh medical report of Bharadwaj from the State on August 17, a report was submitted by NIA on August 21, exactly a month after the first report and there was no mention in the said report of ailments like ischemic disease etc.

Bharadwaj's counsel Ragini Ahuja contended that the two medical reports are contradictory to each other. She submitted that the latest report dated August 21 submitted by NIA is ex-facie false and inconsistent with the report dated July 21. She said that the latest report does not deal with the diseases suffered by Bharadwaj like hypertension, osteoarthritis, ischemic disease and Tinea Corporis (skin fungal infection) as well as diabetes. Thus, the report dated August 21 cannot be considered by this Court while considering the appeal filed by the appellant, Advocate Ahuja argued.

Appearing for the NIA, Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh submitted that the appellant was thoroughly examined by the Medical Officer at Mumbai District Women Prison, Byculla, Mumbai and after examining the appellant, the Medical Officer has submitted the said medical report dated August 21 which is self explanatory.

"Even in the case of Varavara Rao, who required medical treatment in the private hospital was admitted to Nanavati Hospital and was provided proper treatment", ASG Singh argued.

Whereas, Public Prosecutor Deepak Thakare adopted the submissions made by ASG Singh and submitted that as and when appellant requires any further treatment, medical facilities and hospitalization, as may be advised, State Government would provide such medical treatment.

The bench went through the appellant's latest medical report which states that-

"At present the undertrial Prisoner No. 566/20 namely Sudha Bhardwaj's health condition is stable and satisfactory and for her ailments treatment is available in the hospital. She is provided all necessary medicines as and when required."

Thus, the bench observed-

"We are inclined to accept the report dated 21/08/2020 submitted by the Medical Officer, Mumbai District Women Prison, Byculla, Mumbai. In our view, there is no inconsistency in the reports dated 21/08/2020 and 28/08/2020 placed on record.

In our view, in view of the facilities being made available in the Mumbai District Women Prison, Byculla and in view of the statement made by learned PP and learned ASG for NIA recorded aforesaid, the Appellant is taken care of in so far as her health conditions are concerned."

Finally, dismissing the appeal, Court said-

"In view of the aforesaid observations that there is no inconsistency in the reports, we are not inclined to direct the NIA or the State to file any affidavit to explain the inconsistency in the reports. In our view, no case is made out for grant of bail. Appeal is devoid of merits."

Click Here To Download Order

[Read Order]



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