May 21, 2024

Healt Hid

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Accused’s Preference For Medical Treatment At Private Hospital Over Govt Facility Not A Ground For Granting Bail: Delhi High Court

3 min read

The Delhi High Court has rejected a bail plea from a man accused of an acid attack seeking medical treatment at a private hospital instead of a mandated government facility. It emphasized that Government hospitals like DDU Hospital are obligated to offer comprehensive medical care, including specialized services, to all patients, including those in custody.

The Court noted that such facilities possess the requisite infrastructure, medical equipment, and expertise to effectively address a broad spectrum of health concerns.

Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma presiding over the case, observed, “This Court observes that Government hospitals like DDU Hospital are mandated to provide comprehensive medical care, including specialized services, to patients, including those in custody. These facilities are equipped with the necessary infrastructure, medical equipment, and expertise to address a wide range of health issues effectively. Therefore, the mere preference of an accused for a private hospital over a government facility cannot serve as grounds for granting bail.”

“This Court also notes that it is undeniable that every prisoner, regardless of being an undertrial or a convict, is entitled to receive sufficient and appropriate healthcare,” Justice Sharma added.

The above observation came in response to an application filed under Sections 439 and 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC) by one Ashok Kumar, seeking interim bail for a period of two months, in an FIR registered for offences punishable under Sections 326A/392 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC).

The applicant had asserted that he was undergoing medical treatment for a hernia condition at DDU Hospital, Hari Nagar, which serves as a jail referral hospital. He contended that the treatment he was receiving at DDU Hospital was inadequate and expressed his desire to be admitted to a private hospital for better treatment.

The Court took note of the applicant’s medical history, highlighting a small umbilical hernia diagnosed by their treating doctor at Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital in Delhi. Reviewing a medical status report presented to the Sessions Court, it noted the availability of necessary medical facilities for the advised surgery at Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital.

“It has further been stated in the medical status report that the Hernia surgery which has been advised to the present applicant/accused can usually be done routinely unless it becomes removeable when emergency surgery may be needed, and it usually takes seven days post the surgery for the stitched to be removed,” the Court noted.

Referring to the Jail referral Policy, the Court held, “Thus, according to the aforesaid rules, DDU Hospital or Baba Saheb Ambedkar Hospital represents the first layer of Jail referral Hospitals, which may be referred by the Senior Medical Officer of dispensary of the respective jail.”

“As per the policy, the second layer of hospitals which may be referred on written recommendations of DDU Hospital or Baba Saheb Ambedkar Hospital are G.B. Pant Hospital, Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital, Maulana Azad Institute of Dental Sciences, Guru Nanak Eye Centre, and Safdarjung Hospital. The third referral Hospital, according to the rules is All India Institute of Medical Sciences, that may be referred by the Second referral hospitals,” the Court added.

The Court emphasized, that the applicant was receiving treatment from DDU Hospital, which is a ‘first jail referral hospital’.

In view of the facts of the case and the medical documents placed on record, the Court opined that the present applicant be admitted to G.B. Pant Hospital, Delhi which is a part of the second jail referral hospital for a period of two (02) weeks, while being in custody, on following some terms and conditions as specified by the Court.

Accordingly, the Court disposed of the application.

Case Title: ASHOK KUMAR versus The State N.C.T Of Delhi

Citation: 2024 LiveLaw (Del) 412

Click Here To Read/Download Judgement

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