Bombay HC Orders ₹10 Lakh Compensation To Family Of Undertrial Who Passed Away Due To Jail Authorities Negligence

Bombay HC

The Bombay High Court recently ordered the Maharashtra government to pay ₹10 lakh compensation to the family of an undertrial prisoner who died after the jail authorities denied him necessary medical attention.

A division bench of Justice Anuja Prabhudessai and Justice RM Joshi was hearing a plea filed by Pratap Kute’s widow, her two children, and the deceased’s parents.

The bench held that the State government is responsible for providing sufficient medical treatment and amenities to convicts.

It was stated that the deceased was a young man of only 32 years of age, with a wife, children, and parents who relied on him.

It also considered the fact that the deceased was not a hardened criminal involved in some significant or grave crime.

“He died solely as a result of the jail administration’s inability to offer medical treatment. It goes without saying that the right to health established in Article 21 of the Indian Constitution, particularly for a prisoner who is deprived of his personal liberty, even if in accordance with legal procedure, cannot be overlooked,” the bench stated.

On February 27, 2012, Kute died in judicial custody.

The family claimed in the plea that he was already suffering from spondylosis and extreme discomfort, and that they had already filed an application with the Magistrate on February 7, 2012.

He was only admitted to the hospital in Beed after his health deteriorated. He was referred to the Government Medical College in Aurangabad by the hospital in Beed.

Representing the State, Additional Public Prosecutor MM Nerlikar claimed that the deceased was HIV positive and was also suffering from tuberculosis.

The bench did observe, however, that from February 7 to February 23, the day he was admitted to the hospital in Beed, he had no medical treatment other than blood testing.

Such test results were likewise received just after his death.

The bench further noted that, despite his request for medical treatment, no prompt medical assistance was offered to him, with the exception of obtaining his blood sample, the report of which was also obtained only after his death.

“In our considered view, there has been total negligence and lapse on the part of the jail authorities in providing adequate, effective and proper medical treatment and on the part of the police guard on duty who declined to shift the deceased to Government Medical College, Aurangabad which has resulted in his death,” the division bench noted.

As a result of his untimely death caused by the incompetence of the jail administration and the police guard, his parents, widow, and children have been deprived of their loved one’s love and affection.

“Under such circumstances, while we cannot truly recompense for human life, we are inclined to give compensation of Rs. 10 lakh,” the bench ordered.



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