Delhi High Court Takes Measures to Enhance Medical Facilities in Prisons

Prison Arrest Jail law insider

LI Network

Published on: December 23, 2023 at 12:00 IST

The Delhi High Court has taken a proactive step to address the healthcare deficiencies in prisons by establishing a committee tasked with recommending improvements.

In the case of Mr. Amandeep Singh Dhall v. the Directorate of Enforcement, the Court constituted a committee under the Delhi health secretary, which includes the Director General (Prisons), Chief Medical Officer of Delhi Prisons, two senior jail visiting judges of district courts, and representatives from the Delhi State Legal Services Authority, along with advocates Sanjay Dewan and Gayatri Puri.

Directed by Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma, the committee has been given a one-month timeframe to provide suggestions on enhancing healthcare facilities in Delhi’s prisons, with a specific focus on ensuring equal healthcare for all prisoners.

The committee will also evaluate the availability of emergency medical facilities in jail hospitals to address critical situations such as cardiac arrest and hemorrhages, emphasizing the crucial role of the first few minutes in saving lives.

The court instructed the Home Secretary and the Secretary of Health and Family Welfare of the Delhi government to guarantee the fulfillment of healthcare requirements for prison inmates and the maintenance of proper infrastructure in prisons.

Additionally, doctors in charge of jail dispensaries were directed to submit a list of requirements to Chief Medical Officers, who will provide weekly reports to the Director General (Prison), subsequently communicated to the visiting judicial officer and the Secretary (Home).

Justice Sharma underscored the urgency of addressing issues highlighted in the committee’s reports, ensuring the immediate provision of necessary supplies, equipment, and medicines within two days.

In response to a plea filed by Amandeep Singh Dhall, an accused in the Delhi excise policy case seeking interim bail, the court acknowledged the distressing reality of inadequate medical care facilities in jails. Although interim bail was not granted, Dhall was directed to be admitted to Safdarjung Hospital for proper treatment.

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