A SESSIONS court in a recent order said implying that a person suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia is of an unsound mind is “misconceived” and “cannot be accepted”. The order came last week in a case of financial offence, in which an inquiry was sought by an accused under Chapter 25 of the CrPC relating to procedures in law when a person put to trial is proven to be of an unsound mind.
Last month, the Economic Offences Wing of the Mumbai Police made arrests in a cheating case where a firm, RH Associates, is alleged to have defaulted to the tune of Rs 83 crore. Police arrested Ramniklal Dedhia (76), a partners in the firm. One of his main grounds for bail was that he suffers from Alzheimer’s. In a separate plea, one of Dedhia’s co-accused, Hasmukh Gogri,, claimed that such a medical ground would not be available for him till an inquiry under Chapter 25 is completed. “The submission (of the accused’s lawyer) that Alzheimer’s or dementia implies person of unsound mind is totally misconceived and cannot be accepted. It is not the case of the applicant (Gogri) that he (Dedhia) is incapable of making his defence. The applicant, who is a co-accused, is trying to mislead this court,” the court said, adding he has no locus as well to make such a plea.
The court also said it sought a report regarding his health from the civil surgeon of JJ Hospital. “None of the reports state the accused is of an unsound mind,” the court said. The court rejected Gogri’s plea as well as the bail plea filed by Dedhia.
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