Mumbai: The Bombay High Court bench of Justices Kamalkishor Tated and Abhay Ahuja on Thursday ordered the Maharashtra government to submit a detailed medical report on the health status of jailed advocate and activist Sudha Bharadwaj, arrested in the Bhima-Koregaon violence case.
The high court was hearing a plea filed by Sudha's daughter Maaysha Singh, who has sought interim bail of her mother on medical grounds. She has sought bail on the ground that her mother has comorbidities and runs a risk of contracting the virus in the overcrowded Byculla women's prison.
Appearing for Sudha, advocate Yug Chaudhary told the bench that his client has a history of tuberculosis and is also suffering from diabetes and a few heart ailments.
Further, Chaudhary told the bench that his client is presently kept in "extremely unsanitary conditions" among other 50 women inmates. He also told the court that there are only three toilets in the ward.
"That is a literal death trap," Chaudhary remarked. Public prosecutor Jayesh Yagnik told the judges that Sudha is already having an appointment with the J J hospital for a routine check-up on Thursday evening. He further told the judges that Sudha has been subjected to the Covid tests twice before and has tested negative.
Accordingly, the bench ordered Yagnik to submit fresh medical reports of Sudha on May 17. The matter would be next heard on May 21.
During the course of the hearing, Chaudhary told the bench that Sudha's family members had called at least 18 times in the prison, however, the prison warden didn't come up on the line.
"The warden hasn't spoken to us till now but has gone to the press. He has told the press that Sudha, a respected advocate and activist is making up false stories and is lying about her own health," Chaudhary told the judges.
The advocate further sought a directive to the NIA to file a detailed response to his client's bail plea.
However, Justice Tated noted that only 15 per cent of the government staff is presently working as per the Covid restrictions. And accordingly, the bench granted four weeks to the NIA special counsel Sandesh Patil to respond to the bail plea.