Bombay HC Raises Concerns Over Inadequate Police Escort for Prisoners’ Medical Visits, Urges Immediate State Action

LI Network

Published on: February 18, 2024 at 10:06 IST

The Bombay High Court has drawn attention to the issue of insufficient police escort for prisoners requiring urgent medical treatment outside the prison premises.

The Court has directed the state to appoint responsible officers to ensure that prisoners receive adequate escort during medical visits.

A division bench, comprising Justice Sarang V Kotwal and Justice Shivkumar Dige, expressed concern over the lack of police escorts leading to challenges in providing essential medical services to prisoners.

This shortfall also results in prisoners being unable to attend court hearings, causing delays in the trial process.

The Court emphasized the gravity of the matter, urging authorities to address it as a priority and on an emergency basis.

The bench stressed the need for a designated responsible officer to be held accountable for providing sufficient escorts in all cases across the state.

The Court issued a directive to the Secretary, Home Department – Government of Maharashtra, IG Prison, Commissioners of Police, Superintendents of Police, Principal District Judges, and the Director General of Police, Maharashtra, to ensure compliance with its order.

In a related case, the Bombay High Court granted bail on medical grounds to Suhas Dashrath Jagtap, who had been convicted in a kidnapping case. Despite multiple requisitions for police escort, Jagtap was not taken to the hospital for prescribed medical investigations.

The Court, acknowledging the incriminating evidence against Jagtap, considered his case for bail on medical grounds due to health concerns.

The Court criticized the authorities for the delayed medical examinations and treatment, particularly in light of Jagtap’s suspected serious health issues.

It expressed dissatisfaction with the apathetic treatment of prisoners and directed the authorities to expedite Jagtap’s medical examinations.

A report submitted by DCP Rohidas Pawar outlined the practical difficulties in providing necessary escorts for medical emergencies, citing a shortage of police personnel.

The Court, unsatisfied with the superficial medical treatment provided to Jagtap, granted him bail to receive proper medical care with the support of his family.

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