October 26, 2013 4:55:15 am
A Sessions court on Friday approved the application submitted by former state transport bus driver Santosh Mane,who had claimed that he was mentally unfit to make a statement on his quantum of punishment and should be examined by a trained psychiatrist to determine his mental health.
After hearing the arguments made by the prosecution and defence,Additional Sessions Judge V K Shewale passed an order directing the Yerawada Prison superintendent to take immediate steps to undertake a medical examination of the accused by a senior psychiatric with the Yerawada Regional Mental Hospital and submit a compliance report by October 28.
He should be examined by the psychiatrist to determine if he is of unsound mind and incapable of making a statement in the court,and supply evidence as required under Section 235 (2) of the CrPC (opportunity of hearing be given to the accused on the question of sentence), said Judge Shewale.
Earlier,Manes lawyer had argued before the court that under Section 329 of the CrPC (procedure followed in case of person of unsound mind tried before court),it was mandatory for the judge to examine the factuality of the claims of mental unsoundness of the accused,and after considering medical and other evidence,he should record a findings report.
District Government Pleader Ujjwala Pawar opposed the plea stating that the provisions of CrPC 329 were limited to the period of trial,and were not applicable in Manes case as the trial was over and the impending question before the court was limited to the quantum of punishment as directed by the HC. The reports that were earlier submitted by a panel of five psychiatrists of Yerawada Mental Hospital also assessed that he was not mentally unsound,Pawar added.
While passing the order,the judge observed that the medical treatment details provided by the Yerawada superintendent showed that Mane was treated for disturbed sleep and irritability on several occasions between July 29 and October 16.
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