The Delhi High Court has granted four weeks interim bail to a man claiming to be HIV positive and is undergoing four years of jail term in an attempt to murder case.
The high court, however, directed the convict to report to the jurisdictional police station every Friday at 11 am.
“It is a matter of common knowledge that HIV positive patients are especially susceptible to infection by the COVID-19 virus, and fall within the category of patients who are treated as of highest risk,” Justice C Hari Shankar said in his order passed on Wednesday.
The court said, “Given the extremely virulent nature of the COVID-19 virus, retaining the applicant within the confines of the jail, may, in my view, seriously expose him to the risk of infection, and endanger his life in the bargain.”
While ordering release of the man immediately, the court directed him to furnish a bail “bond in the sum of Rs 10,000 with one solvent surety for the like amount…”.
The convict, who has been in custody for a little over five months, sought interim suspension of his sentence for three months on the ground that his appeal against the conviction is not going to be heard in the near future.
He contended that his sentence be suspended in the wake of the present COVID-19 pandemic to which he is especially susceptible owing to his present comorbidity.
The court was also apprised that on his appeal against the conviction and order on sentence in the matter was filed in January this year, on which the court is scheduled to hear on July 29.
The additional public prosecutor submitted that the medical record of the convict, which has been provided to him by the Jail Superintendent, does reveal that the man is HIV positive, and that, for the said medical condition, he is undergoing treatment within the confines of the jail.
To which, the court observed, “consequent to issuance of notice, in this application (suspension of sentence), on May 1, 2020, a Status Report stands filed, by the SHO, Police Station Pandav Nagar on May 5. However, the nominal roll of the applicant, and his medical record, are not forthcoming, though specifically directed”.
The court enlarged the convict on interim bail on the condition that he “shall not leave the confines of the city, during the said period without prior permission of the learned trial court.”
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