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MUMBAI: In a landmark order, a special court observed on Friday that a prisoner’s right to obtain proper medical treatment is recognized as a right under the Constitution of India. The court ordered Taloja Jail superintendent to take imprisoned accused in the scam involving Sahityaratna Lokshahir Annabhau Sathe Development Corporation (SLASDC) to JJ Hospital. He had fractured his left shoulder after a fall in the prison toilets.
Accepting Defendant Rameshwar Gadekar’s plea, Special Judge RN Rokade said, “It is contextually relevant to note that the Defendant is entitled to appropriate medical treatment in light of his medical condition. A prisoner’s right to obtain proper medical treatment is recognized as a right under Article 21 (right to protection of life and personal liberty) of the Constitution of India.”
The prosecution opposed his plea and argued that prison authorities reported no such injuries. He prayed for the rejection of the appeal. It was also reported that the necessary facilities are available at the prison hospital. The defendant, however, said he was in severe pain and was not properly treated at the prison hospital. He prayed to be allowed a mandatory visit to JJ Hospital for a thorough examination and an X-ray, if needed. He was also treated in a private hospital. His lawyer argued that even though he is in jail as a defendant, the accused is entitled to better treatment under Article 21.
“It should be noted here that the CMO of Taloja Central Jail has referred the accused to the Sir JJ Group of Hospitals for further treatment. It is clear from the CMO’s report that the accused is in need of further treatment” , said the judge.
Outside another courtroom on Thursday, in the 2011 triple explosion case, a defendant, Nadeem Akhtar, said he had been detected with tuberculosis for the third time in 3 years due to a diagnosis inadequate. Taking serious note, the MCOCA Special Court ordered prison authorities to decide whether he should be transferred to Sewri TB Hospital. “The CMO of Taloja Central Jail is obliged to provide the required medical care and to inform the court in clear terms…” the court said.
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