Supreme Court grants bail on humanitarian grounds to man accused in 17 crimes
The Supreme Court of India has granted bail to a man accused in 17 criminal cases on humanitarian grounds after noting that he is suffering from HIV , due to which he is at high risk of getting infection again and again.
A bench of Justices S Ravindra Bhat & PS Narasimha on April 1, while giving judgement also directed the high court to expeditiously disposed of his appeal seeking suspension of sentence as per his entitlement under Section 34(2) of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (Prevention and Control) Act, 2017. The provision read as follows;
2 In any legal proceeding concerning or relating to an HIV-positive person, the court shall take up and dispose of the proceeding on priority basis.”
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Further the court has noted that the petitioner is at liberty to claim anonymization of the records, to suppress his identity in accordance with law.
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The Rajasthan High court had dismissed four applications filed by him seeking suspension of sentence on the grounds of his deteriorating health on account of disease. Following, the dismissal of his fourth application, he had moved the Apex Court.
The Top Court earlier had sought the counter affidavit and medical report of the accused from the State Government. The medical report stated that,
“patient have severe dyspnoea at rest and unable to walk without support. Due to immune compromised he is at risk of having repeated infection unhygienic condition. Patient requires regular treatment and follow up.”
Considering this aspect the Supreme Court has granted him bail subject to the terms and conditions imposed by the trial court. The Court also directed the trial court to impose appropriate conditions with regard to the periodic reporting by him at the concerned police station, since several cases are pending against him.
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The Counsel for the petitioner had submitted before the high court that he is suffering from HIV+(AIDS) since 2008 and he is also suffering from lungs ailment and in this weak condition, one attendant is required to look-after him. He prayed that his sentence may be suspended and in support of his contention, he relied upon the judgement of the Apex Court in the case of Shankar Khandelwal Vs State of Rajasthan, Criminal Appeal Nos. 545-547 of 2021, decided on 02.07.2021.
But the high court had dismissed the application on merits and noted that as many as 17 cases are pending against him.