The Bombay High Court on Tuesday ordered that Delhi University professor Hany Babu should be lodged again in Mumbai’s Taloja jail, Live Law reported. The court, however, took note of the health condition of the Bhima Koregaon case accused and directed the jail authorities to ensure his proper medical treatment.
The High Court order came after the Breach Candy Hospital submitted a report, saying that Babu was fit for discharge. The Delhi University professor was shifted to the private hospital in Mumbai in May to get treatment for an eye infection after testing positive for the coronavirus.
In Tuesday’s hearing, Justices SS Shinde and NJ Jamadar disposed an interim medical bail plea moved by Babu’s wife Jenny Rowena.
Advocate Payoshi Roy, appearing for Rowena did not seek further relief but submitted that Babu should be provided treatment whenever required.
The court then directed the Taloja Jail superintendent to take Babu to the state-run JJ Hospital for treatment as and when required, Live Law reported. The jail authorities have the liberty to consult doctors who treated Babu at the Breach Candy Hospital, the judges added.
Aruna Pai, representing the prosecution, argued that Babu should pay for his medical consultations. The court, however, held that it was the State’s duty to take care of the undertrials and convicts.
Jail authorities and the government have repeatedly failed to provide proper medical facilities to the accused in the Bhima Koregaon case.
Tribal rights activist Stan Swamy who suffered from Parkinson’s disease and also contracted the coronavirus infection while in prison in connection with the Bhima Koregaon case, died in a Mumbai hospital on July 5. He was repeatedly denied bail despite his deteriorating health condition.
Poet and activist Varavara Rao was granted a medical bail for six months in February. The decision came three months after Rao was hospitalised following the Bombay High Court’s observation that he was “almost on his deathbed”. Throughout the proceedings, the National Investigation Agency, however, maintained that he was fit to be shifted back to Taloja Jail.
According to Babu’s family, he started experiencing pain and swelling in the left eye on May 3, which soon developed into double vision and severe pain. By May 11, he had little or no vision in his left eye due to the swelling, which has spread to the cheek, ear and forehead, compromising other vital organs as well, they said.
The Delhi University professor was arrested on July 28, 2020, from his residence in Delhi and has been incarcerated in the Taloja Central Jail.
Fourteen of the people accused in the case remain in prison in Maharashtra, charged under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for allegedly conspiring to set off caste violence in a village near Pune in 2018”.