The Bombay High Court has directed the State of Maharashtra to pay a compensation of Rs. 10 Lakhs to the family of an undertrial prisoner who died due to the failure of the jail authority to provide proper medical treatment.

“The parents, widow and the children of the deceased have also been deprived of love and affection of their loved one due to his untimely death caused due to negligence of the jail authority and the police guard. In such circumstances, though we cannot compensate human life in true sense, we are inclined to award compensation of Rs.10,00,000/- (Rupees ten lakhs) to the petitioners.”, Justice Anuja Prabhudessai and Justice R.M. Joshi directed.

Advocate N.R. Thorat appeared for petitioners APP M.M. Nerlikar appeared for State.

The Court noted that as per the records, the deceased was not provided any treatment while he was in jail till the date he was shifted to the hospital. The Court further noted that even after the deceased was shifted to the hospital, the doctor on duty had informed the on-duty Constable that the patient had to be shifted to Government Medical College & Hospital, Aurangabad. The said Constable had made an endorsement that for some reason, he is unable to shift the accused.

“We are conscious of the fact that this is not a typical case of death due to custodial violence or torture. The present case reveals that despite the request of the deceased, an undertrial prisoner, to provide medical treatment, no timely medical aid was provided to him except for collecting his blood sample, report of which was received after his demise.”, the Court observed.

The Court held that there was total negligence and lapse on the part of the jail authorities in providing adequate, effective and proper medical treatment and on the part of the police guard on duty who declined to shift the deceased.

The Court noted that the deceased was not a hardened criminal involved in some grave or serious crime. It further added that the deceased lost his life only due to the failure of the jail authority to provide medical treatment.

“The Government having failed in its duty, the petitioners being the parents, widow and the children of the deceased, are entitled for compensation.”, the Court held.

Accordingly, the Court awarded Rs. 10 Lakhs compensation to the family of the deceased.

Cause Title- Vishnu & Ors. v. State of Maharashtra & Anr.

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