A 25-year-old man, who was imprisoned for failing to pay Rs 3,000 per month as maintenance to his estranged wife, died in Nashik Central Jail three days after being incarcerated. His family has accused jail officials of apathy and claimed that the deceased, who needed dialysis twice a month, was not given proper medical care.
Gorakh Ramdas Kakde (25), a driver from Chalisgaon in Jalgaon, was estranged from his wife Deepali Kakde.
Deepali had left him and subsequently filed a case under Section 498A of the IPC, accusing Gorakh of cruelty and seeking maintenance. A court in Malegaon in October 2016 had subsequently passed an order asking him to pay Rs 3,000 per month.
His family, however, claims that due to an ailment which affected his renal functions, Gorakh could not work and had no means to pay the stipulated amount. “My brother’s kidneys had started failing and he was forced to visit Nashik twice a week for dialysis. I was paying for his treatment,” Bholenath Kakde, the deceased’s brother, said.
His wife subsequently moved court again over his failure to pay maintenance. On September 27, Gorakh was summoned to a court in Malegaon, where he was sentenced to jail for 11 months for failing to pay maintenance since October 2016, which had compounded to Rs 75,000.
“I have asked the opponent to deposit the remaining amount of maintenance. He answered that he is not having money. On the other hand, his advocate filed pursis that he is suffering from kidney failure. Accordingly, jail authority is directed to provide him with necessary medical aid. Moreover, considering overall circumstances of the present case, it would be just and proper to send the opponent to jail for 11 months in default of maintenance of 11 months,” Magistrate J J Inamdar of Malegaon Court had said in his verdict.
Gorakh was subsequently sent to Nashik Central Jail on August 27. On August 30 at night, his family got a call from the police saying he had died. “They sent him to jail despite us saying his kidneys were not functioning… they should have ensured that he was at least given treatment. It is perplexing for us as to how he could have died within two days of being sent to prison,” Bholenath said.
The Nashik Central Jail authorities, however, claimed adequate treatment was provided to the prisoner.
“He was taken to the hospital twice by our officials. Moreover, he died in a private hospital and not on our premises. We can’t be held responsible for his death,” Superintendent Pramod Wagh said.
Under current rules, after the death of a prisoner inside a jail, their postmortem report needs to be submitted to the National Human Rights Commission and State Human Rights Commission within 24 hours.
Gorakh’s family, however, said they are yet to get a copy of the postmortem report. “I visited Dhule today for the postmortem report. The authorities said it will take time and they will send it to us later. It has been 16 days since my brother died and we don’t know the reasons for his death. He has lost his life for failing to pay Rs 3,000. I wish no other person is forced to suffer this fate,” Bholenath said.
As per reports that available in the public domain, Maharashtra had in 2016 seen 121 deaths inside its prisons, of which 74 were deemed to be natural.