The Supreme Court has in a recent order granted bail to a terminally ill undertrial prisoner who was chargesheeted u/s 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120B of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
Before the court comprising of Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice R Banumathi was a 77-year-old undertrial man who is unable to attend even to nature’s call and is suffering from various ailments.
It was argued on behalf of the petitioner that a Constitution bench of the court has held that the right to die with dignity is a fundamental right [Common Cause v Union of India: WP Civil 215/2005] and the petitioner is almost in a persistent vegetative state and is unable to perform any activity, including even lifting and holding a pen or even shift position during sleep leaving apart the basic natural tasks. It was urged that the petitioner deserves to live his last few days with dignity and not in the disability ward of the prison cell.
The Supreme Court held that considering the totality of the facts of the case and the fact that the appellant is about 77 years old person and is suffering from various ailments and also the fact that the trial is likely to take some time, it was inclined to release the appellant on bail.