Right To Sleep Is Basic Human Right, Can’t Be Violated: Bombay HC

Right To Sleep Is Basic Human Right, Can’t Be Violated: Bombay HC

It also said that statements must be recorded during earthly hours and not in the night when a person’s cognitive skills may be impaired. The court has directed the ED to issue a circular/directions, as to the timings, for recording of statements, when summons are issued.

Azhar KhanUpdated: Monday, April 15, 2024, 11:08 PM IST
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Bombay HC | PTI

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has said that the right to sleep is a basic human requirement which cannot be violated. It also said that statements must be recorded during earthly hours and not in the night when a person’s cognitive skills may be impaired.

The court has directed the ED to issue a circular/directions, as to the timings, for recording of statements, when summons are issued. A bench of Justices Revati Mohite-Dere and Manjusha Deshpande rapped the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) for questioning a senior citizen in connection with an alleged money laundering case throughout the night.

The bench was hearing a petition by one Ram Issrani, 64, challenging his arrest by the ED in August last year. He claimed that his arrest was illegal and unwarranted as he had been cooperating with the probe. His plea added that he has appeared before the agency every time he was issued summons.

He, claimed his plea, appeared before the ED on August 7, 2023, following summons and that he was questioned throughout the night and was arrested in the case the next day.

Although the bench dismissed Issrani’s petition, it disapproved the practice of questioning him through the night. The probe agency’s counsel Hiten Venegaonkar, however, told the bench that Issrani had consented to his statement being recorded through the night.

“Voluntary or otherwise, we deprecate the manner in which the petitioner’s statement was recorded so late in the night which went on post midnight, till 3:30 a.m,” thr bench emphasised. “The `right to sleep’ / ‘right to blink’ is a basic human requirement, inasmuch as, non-providing of the same, violates a person’s human rights.”

It added that lack of sleep affects a person’s health, may impair his mental faculties, cognitive skills and so on. When a person is summoned for questioning, the investigating agency is yet to arrive at a `reason to believe’ that the said person is guilty of an offence.

Noting that Issrani has appeared in the past too, the judge said that the ED could have asked him to come some other day despite questioning him post midnight, despite the alleged consent.

“Consent is immaterial. Recording of statements, at unearthly hours, definitely results in deprivation of a person’s sleep, a basic human right of an individual. We disapprove this practice,” the court said. The HC has kept the matter for complained on September 9.

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