THE PUNJAB and Haryana High Court Wednesday granted an interim bail for a period of three months to a woman undertrial, who earlier this month delivered a baby at Rajendra Hospital in Patiala. An accused in the drugs case, she had sought immediate bail in wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
“The applicant-petitioner is a young lady who has no previous involvement in any such case. She has given birth to a child on 01.04.2020 and as per report of the Civil Surgeon, Patiala, she can be kept in a creche along with two other inmates who can help her. A perusal of this letter/report would show that no inmate is a medical expert to take care of the mother and child,” the order passed by Justice Arvind Singh Sangwan reads.
The HC last week had sought a report from the Superintendent of Patiala Central Jail to ascertain whether the hospital or the jail would be suitable for the mother and child in the prevailing circumstances. The accused had approached the High Court seeking bail for three months in the FIR registered against her in July 2019. She delivered the baby in custody at the hospital on April 1. Eighty injections (160 ml total) of Buprenorphine had been recovered from her by Rajpura Police.
The court in the order also said she has been in judicial custody for more than eight months and charges have already been framed by the trial court on December 20 in 2019. “Till date, no prosecution witness has been examined, which shows that in the present prevailing condition in the country, the prosecution witnesses may not be examined for another couple of months or so,” the order read. Finding sufficient reasons to grant interim bail to the accused, the court directed the Patiala Jail authorities to release her forthwith after obtaining an undertaking from one of her blood relations that she will appear before the trial court within a period of 14 days to furnish bail or surety bonds.