Delhi HC for relief to terminally ill undertrials

The Delhi High Court has asked the state government to evaluate whether prosecution proceedings can be withdrawn against undertrials, who are terminally ill.

Updated: Aug 30, 2010, 18:00 PM IST

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has
asked the state government to evaluate whether prosecution
proceedings can be withdrawn against undertrials, who are
terminally ill.

It has asked the Delhi Government to file an affidavit
within two months whether any policy guideline could be
formulated for withdrawing the prosecution against such
undertrials.

A Division Bench of Justice Pradeep Nandarajog and
Mool Chand Garg has asked the Additional Solicitor General to
consider withdrawing the prosecution against a terminally sick
undertrial for the reason that "before trials complete,
terminally sick undertrials are dead."

Moreover, in cases where the terminally sick
undertrial is not the only accused, the court has asked the
Delhi government to frame guidelines in such a manner that
dropping prosecution against a terminally sick accused is not
likely to have any effect on the charge against the
co-accused.

"The state government might consider separating the
trial of terminally sick undertrials vis-a-vis the
co-accused. The reason is that all accused have to be present
in Court unless exempted, for a trial to proceed and it is
noticed that on account of a terminally sick undertrial not
being produced in court, the trial against co-accused is
prolonged," noted the Bench.

The court has asked government`s counsels Additional
Solicitor General, A S Chandhiok and Meera Bhatia, to submit
the affidavit on this issue in a matter of two months and if
they failed, they must elaborate the reasons.

At present there are four terminally-ill undertrials
in Tihar Jail out of a total of 8,463 undertrials.

PTI