Bombay HC denies bail to Sudha Bhardwaj on medical grounds

The Bombay High Court Friday refused to grant bail to activist Sudha Bharadwaj on medical grounds.

A division bench of Justices V G Bisht and RD Dhanuka accepted the statement made by the Public Prosecutor that as and when any further treatment, medication and hospitalization is required to Bharadwaj as may be advised by the concerned Medical Officer, it would be provided to the Appellant.

Bhardwaj, a 58-years old activist arrested in the Elgaar Parishad case, is lodged in Mumbai’s Byculla Women’s Jail since 2018. She had filed an appeal before the HC against special NIA court’s rejection of her interim bail plea on medical grounds.

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Advocate Ragini Ahuja, for Bhardwaj, submitted that a medical report dated August 21 filed by the Medical Officer, Mumbai District Women Prison-2, Mumbai, Byculla was false. She referred to a previous medical report dated July 21, according to which, Bhardwaj was suffering from Diabetes mellitus, Moderate Depression; osteo arthritis, Ischemic disease, and Tinea Corporis (Skin fungal infection).

However, the medical report dated August 21 did not deal with the diseases, Ahuja submitted.

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Anil Singh, for the National Investigation Agency (NIA), submitted that the Medical Officer had submitted the said medical report dated August 21 after Sudha Bharadwaj had been thoroughly examined at Mumbai District Women Prison, Byculla, Mumbai. The ASG referred to Varavara Rao, who required medical treatment and was admitted to Nanavati Hospital.

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Appearing for the Maharashtra Government, advocate Deepak Thakare, echoed the submissions made by the NIA and said as and when the appellant required any further treatment, medical facilities and hospitalization, as may be advised, the State Government would make provision for it.

The court came to the conclusion that there was no inconsistency between the two medical reports and accepted the medical report dated August 21 which indicated that Bharadwaj’s general health condition is stable and satisfactory.

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