HC directs TN to bear medical expenses of murder case convict

The Madras High Court has directed the Tamil Nadu government to bear the medical expenses of a convict sentenced to life in a murder case and also undergoing seven years rigorous imprisonment in the 1998 Coimbatore serial bomb blast cases.

Abuthahir was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2003 by a Fast Track Court in Madurai for the murder of Jayaprakash, Assistant Jailor, Madurai Central Prison, and to seven years RI on October 18, 2007 in the serial blast case.

The Court upheld a single judge's earlier order, quashing an impugned order and directing authorities to grant 90 days ordinary leave to the convict, presently serving his term at the Central Prison in Coimbatore, to avail medical treatment.

A Division Bench, comprising Justices K N Basha and P Devadass, in their common order, also directed authorities to bear expenses for treatment of the convict at a private hospital in Coimbatore. The government had filed a writ appeal against the High Court's August 24, 2012 order.

The bench also said the convict's close relatives, including his wife, mother and children are entitled to visit him and to be with him during visiting hours of the hospital.

The bench also said he should be given treatment for 90 days from the date of admission and if he requires further continuous treatment exceeding that period, it was for medical experts at the hospital to take a decision.

"He shall be provided with escort police officials for his safety and security during the course of treatment in the hospital," they said.

On the main relief sought for in a Habeas Corpus Petition (HCP) for his premature release on grounds of incurable disease and on basis of a government order (G.O), the bench said the "said point is left open for the parties to agitate in future."

"We are of the considered view that there is no infirmity or illegality in the order passed by the single judge warranting interference of this court," the bench said.

Abuthahir's brother had earlier filed a HCP seeking a direction to authorities to consider a Sept 11, 2008 G.O., and produce the detenu before court and set him at liberty.

The Advocate General had submitted that the convict had already availed ordinary leave for 1,050 days and as per Rule 22 (3) of Tamil Nadu Suspension of Sentence Rules, 1982, he cannot be further granted a leave for 90 days.

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