The Bombay High Court on Friday dismissed the interim bail plea filed by Sudha Bharadwaj on medical grounds in view of the Covid-19 outbreak in prisons. The court said the state will continue providing medical aid in prison for her ailments.
Bhardwaj, an activist arrested in the Elgaar Parishad case, is lodged in Mumbai’s Byculla Women’s Jail. She had filed an appeal before the HC against special NIA court’s rejection of her interim bail plea on medical grounds.
A division bench of Justice R D Dhanuka and Justice V G Bisht on Friday perused a prison department report, which stated Bharadwaj had been examined in jail by a medical officer and her condition was found to be “stable and satisfactory”.
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Advocate Ragini Ahuja, appearing for Bharadwaj, said that she suffered from chronic ailments such as diabetes and hypertension and these co-morbidities put her at a high risk of contracting Covid-19 in prison.
However, Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, representing NIA, and Public Prosecutor Deepak Thakare, appearing for the state government, opposed the plea saying if Bharadwaj required further treatment and had to be admitted to a hospital, including a private one, the jail authorities would do the same.
Singh said another co-accused in the case, Varavara Rao, was admitted to JJ hospital and then shifted to the private Nanavati hospital for treatment of Covid-19 and other ailments.
The court also noted the submissions made by NIA and the state that they were taking all precautions to contain Covid-19 spread in prisons. Dismissing Bharadwaj’s plea, the bench noted: “In our view, no case is made out for grant of bail. This appeal is devoid of merits.”
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