Govt is good only for paperwork, says high court

Saturday, December 5, 2009 2:01 IST
Mumbai: Irked at the state government for its inadequate medical facilities for jail inmates, the Bombay high court on Friday summoned the home secretary to the court on December 7.

DNA India

Saturday, December 5, 2009 2:01 IST
Mumbai: Irked at the state government for its inadequate medical facilities for jail inmates, the Bombay high court on Friday summoned the home secretary to the court on December 7.

The court was hearing a petition filed by an HIV+ prisoner who died in the course of the case. The petition was originally filed by the deceased inmate, stating that Aids affected inmates were not getting the necessary antiretroviral treatment (ART) treatment.

His advocates Yug Chaudhury and Rajesh Bindra told the court that 17 of 38 prisons in the state do not have a medical officer and 27 prisons do not have a nurse. A report filed by a Pune magistrate indicates that 13 of the 21 HIV positive inmates interviewed by him were not getting ART treatment in jail.

An affidavit filed by Sambhaji Mondkar, deputy secretary (home), states that the Maharashtra state Aids Control Society has started counselling and testing services at the eight central prisons in the state.

“We know your government is good for doing paperwork. But nothing is happening on the ground,” the chief justice said and called the secretary to court.

Deputy secretary Sambhaji Mondkar stated in his affidavit that ART facilities are set up in prisons such as Yerawada, Thane, Amravati, Nashik and Aurangabad. The magistrate’s report, however, stated that in Yerawada central prison, seven prisoners had died of Aids between 2004 and 2009.

The court came down heavily on the state government and reminded it that “every prison is supposed to have a hospital,” as per the rules in the prison manual.



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