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Jose Abraham vs. Govt. of NCT of Delhi & Ors. (W.P. (C) No. 3146 of 2012)

Date : 20/07/2012

In the High Court of Delhi – The petition was filed after one indigent undertrial prisoner died while in custody. The deceased Santosh Kumar had and existing medical condition when he was sent to Tihar jail (in a suicide attempt several years ago he had consumed acid and burnt his oesophagus). He was dependent on a jejunostomy feeding tube through which he could take only liquid food. He thereforeneeded a special diet. The jail authorities failed to provide this. Further, he needed regular medical check-ups which were not provided. As a result he became malnourished and developed complications. As a result of this he died.

In the petition it was prayed for an inquiry to be ordered, as to the cause of his death, and further systems be put in place to ensure that proper medical facilities are available especially in the case of indigent prisoners.

The High Court vide its order dated 18.7.12 ordered an inquiry by the District Judge. The inquiry is being conducted and doctors from Tihar jail, DDU and AIIMS hospitals to determine if Santosh died due to negligence on the part of the prison authorities. HRLN lawyers are assisting the District Judge in the process and have taken the help of a medical expert. In this instance the lawyers have been allowed to question the doctors.

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