Naresh Goyal, Stan Swamy & Nawab Malik's Cases Shed Light On Challenges Faced By Ailing Accused In Indian Prisons

Naresh Goyal, Stan Swamy & Nawab Malik's Cases Shed Light On Challenges Faced By Ailing Accused In Indian Prisons

The prison authorities and the investigating agencies had been seen objecting to demands of basic necessities of the prisoners such as mosquito net and a pair of slippers.

Charul Shah JoshiUpdated: Monday, February 26, 2024, 09:57 PM IST
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Naresh Goyal | Bhushan Koyande

Mumbai: The special PMLA court is likely to pass order on the interim bail plea of 75-year-old former chairman of Jet Airways Naresh Goyal booked for money laundering amidst the strong opposition by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) that he should not be released on bail since the matter is under probe.

While the defence is emphasising on the right of the citizen for desired medical treatment in cases of terminal ailments, the agency has been pleading to not grant him interim relief at this stage due to the risk of tempering of the evidence and influencing the witnesses.

The agency has been insisting that Goyal should be treated under police escort at a government aided hospital. While the court is scheduled to pass an order on Tuesday, here we look at the instances when the agencies had not adopted a humanitarian approach in cases of accused suffering from severe ailments.

Stan Swamy

Stan Swamy | X

One of the examples of agencies and prison authorities that have failed to be lenient was the case of Stan Swamy. The 83-year-old activist was arrested in October 2020 by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) when he was just in his twilight of life and was also suffering from several ailments including Parkinson's disease. The next day of his arrest, he sought bail on medical grounds which was rejected.

The activist had to beg for simple things like straw and sippers and also slippers to use in the prison. His condition in jail so deteriorated that in May the high court allowed him to be treated in a private hospital. However, Swamy breathed his last in July 2021.

Recently, former minister of NCP Nawab Malik was granted interim bail by the Supreme Court considering his condition after he suffered severe kidney ailment. The relief came almost after one-and-a-half-year after he was shifted to a private hospital for treatment in May 2020 under police escort.

Malik was arrested in February 2022, for money laundering allegations connected to the deal of Goawala Compound, Kurla and the alleged links with fugitive Dawood Ibrahim's sister Haseen Parkar in it. Malik was remanded to judicial custody in March 2022. However, in prison his condition deteriorated and finally he had to be taken to hospital. It was only in May 2022, the special court allowed Malik to be shifted to Criticare Hospital in Kurla, where he was admitted till he was granted interim bail by the Supreme Court.

Like the case of Goyal and Swamy, Malik's pleas were also opposed by the prosecuting agency at the stage where both his kidneys had almost failed.

The prison authorities and the investigating agencies had been seen objecting to demands of basic necessities of the prisoners such as mosquito net and a pair of slippers.

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