BREAKING: "Prisoners have right to access medical records under Article 21": Bombay HC allows Sudha Bhardwaj to opt for medical tests & speak with family

  • Sakshi Shukla
  • 04:54 PM, 21 May 2021

Bombay High Court on Friday allowed Bhima Koregaon Violence accused Sudha Bhardwaj to access her medical records. Notably, Court stated that the same shall apply to all prisoners under Article 21. 

A Division Bench of Justice SJ Kathawalla and Justice SP Tavade, while granting an alternative relief to Bhardwaj observed,

“In our view Prisoners have a right to their own Medical records under Article 21. In view thereof, all medical records including tests and medications to be provided to the petitioner. In fact we will go ahead and say that this shall apply to all prisoners.”

Advocate Yug Chaudhary represented the petitioner.

ASG Anil Singh represented the Union.

“We are forced to file this petition because we are not getting the medical attention we require”, said Advocate Chaudhary

Presenting two suggestions which could reduce similar petitions, Advocate Yug Chaudhary submitted,

1. Prisoners have a right to medical records under Article 21.

2. Prison inmates should be allowed a phone call with an approved family member or lawyer, post consultation or hospital visit.

ASG Singh, opposing the submission of calling lawyer after medical consultation, said, “What will lawyer do for treatment?”

Court suggested, “Yes, the lawyer may reach the family”

It was also added by the bench that prison inmates be allowed to speak to an approved family member after every hospital visit or consultation.

As per the chargesheet filed by Pune Police, documents recovered from Bharadwaj proved her active association with a banned organization CPI (Maoist).

It was the contention of Bharadwaj’s lawyer that nothing objectionable was recovered from her and that documents produced as evidence were not admissible.

It was on January 1, 2018 that lakhs of Dalits accumulated to celebrate 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Bhima Koregaon.

After an incident of violence broke out, FIR was registered at Pimpri PS naming Milind Ekbote and Sambhaji Bhide.

Another FIR was lodged on January 8, alleging that the violence took place due to an event held on December 31, 2017 called Elgar Parishad.

The investigation was taken up by NIA in January, 2020.