A petition seeking permission from the Supreme Court to stop force-feeding Aruna Shanbaug, a former nurse, who has been lying in a vegetative state since a sweeper raped her at KEM hospital, Parel, 37 years ago, will have to wait longer for an outcome.
A bench of justice Markandey Katju and justice Gyan Sudha Mishra of the Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved its verdict on author Pinky Virani’s plea requesting euthanasia for 62-year-old Shanbaug, who suffered brain damage when the rapist tried to strangle her with a dog chain.
Senior counsel TR Andhyaru-jina rendered his assistance as amicus curiae (friend of court). The court had also appointed a panel of three doctors who examined Shanbaug and submitted a report.
Attorney General GE Vaha-nvati opposed Virani’s petition and challenged her locus standi in the matter. Vahanvati argued against euthanasia saying that the Indian society was still “backward” and “emotional”.
Andhyarujina argued in favour of passive euthanasia, saying the decision to terminate a life should rest with the medical body treating the person. He said none of the doctors had said that life support should be withdrawn in Shanbaug’s case.
Senior advocate Pallav Sisodia, appearing for KEM hospital, said the hospital was willing to look after Shanbaug.