Shift alleged Maoist leader into hospice for palliative care: Bombay HC
The Bombay high court on Thursday directed the Maharashtra government to shift alleged Maoist leader Nirmala Uppuganti to a hospice by September 15, 2021 for palliative care for terminal cancer.
The division bench of justices SS Shinde and NJ Jamadar, while pronouncing the order on the petition filed by Uppuganti, said that the state would have to continue the treatment being provided to her at Tata Memorial Hospital while she is at the hospice.
Advocate Payoshi Roy, who represented Uppuganti, submitted that she was arrested in 2019 for her alleged involvement in a bomb attack in Gadchiroli which had resulted in the death of 15 police personnel and one civilian. Uppuganti and her husband were accused of being senior members of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist).
Roy informed the court that Uppuganti had been diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018 and had been undergoing chemotherapy when she and her husband were arrested in 2019. Roy had submitted that due to her arrest, Uppuganti had missed her chemotherapy sessions as a result of which her condition deteriorated. Her cancer is now at stage 4 and she has multiple skeletal and lung metastases.
The court was also informed that while Uppuganti was being taken to Tata Memorial Hospital for treatment, the cell in Byculla Women’s Prison where she was being held was crowded and she had to sleep on the floor, and did not have access to basic facilities like toilet, hot water, among other things.
In light of these submissions, Uppuganti sought urgent relief in the form of palliative care by being shifted to a hospice and also requested that she be allowed to meet her husband, who is lodged in Arthur Road jail as she had no other family member.
However, the state opposed the petition stating that Uggupanti was being taken to the Tata memorial Hospital thrice a week to ensure she gets her treatment as directed by her doctors. Additional public prosecutor Sangeeta Shinde had informed the bench that Uppuganti was being tended to by other prison mates and she was able to move around.