A special court designated under the Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act (MCOCA), on Wednesday, ordered the jail superintendent of Arthur Road Prison not to ask a blast accused to dress in the uniform of a convicted prisoner while taking him to the hospital for treatment.
The court also ordered that the jail authority provide the required treatment and report compliance of the same to it. It was on a plea made by accused Munib Memon to direct for the same that the order came to be passed. On March 17, Memon’s lawyers Sharif Shaikh and Shahid Nadeem had moved an application before the court, which stated that Memon had refused to go to the hospital where the jail authority was taking him according to a court order. The chief medical officer of the jail had insisted that he wear a convict’s uniform for his hospital visit.
The application stated that only undertrials accused of murder are required to wear a convict’s uniform and that Memon has not been charged for murder. It further stated that long incarceration is a punishment for an undertrial and pointed out that Memon has been in prison for eight years now and the trial has not yet commenced in the case.
Advocate Shaikh argued that making the accused dress in a convict’s uniform is bound to cause him mental trauma and that studies have found that long incarceration causes psychological trauma to inmates. It was further argued that asking him to dress so is against his right to dignity guaranteed under the constitution. It is also a violation of his right to a fair trial, Shaikh had argued.
Memon is amongst the eight accused of involvement in the serial low intensity blasts in Pune’s Jangli Maharaj Road in 2012 that had injured one person and of being a member of the banned terror outfit Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). The ATS has accused him of being a close associate of the main accused Firoz Hamaja and of procuring SIM cards for the conspirators of the blasts in different names so as to screen their identity.