Statement on plea submitted to National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to intervene in the Health issue of Prof. G.N. Saibaba languishing in Nagpur central jail

June 01, 2017

Press Release

Plea submitted to National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to intervene in the Health issue of Prof. G.N. Saibaba languishing in the Anda Cell of Nagpur central jail

A delegation comprising Dr G N Saibaba’s wife, Vasantha Kumari, Ms. Nandita Narain, feminist activist Kalyani Menon Sen and Secretary of the National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled, Muralidharan met the NHRC Registrar (Law) Shri Ashok Kumar Koul today and submitted a memorandum requesting the NHRC to intervene and pass an order directing the Jail authorities to provide proper medical care and treatment to Saibaba. Copy of the memorandum is attached herewith.

It is a matter of grave concern that the health condition of Dr G N Saibaba, who has been in Nagpur Central Prison from March 7, 2017, is deteriorating day by day. It may be noted that before his arrest, Saibaba was undergoing treatment in Rockland Hospital, New Delhi. The doctors had advised that he should undergo surgery for the removal of his gallbladder (laparascopic cholecystectomy) within four weeks of his discharge. Saibaba has been in the prison for more than 10 weeks and the Jail authorities are not providing him any medical care.

Dr Saibaba has palpitation, and is unable to urinate. Stomach pain has increased and continuing. He is unable to sustain on the diet provided to him. In the Month of May 2017, itself he fell unconscious two times in the Anda cell. Even though jail doctors are suggesting shifting him to Nagpur Government Hospital, neither the jail authorities nor the State Government of Maharashtra nor the Central Government are responding.

The current conditions in which Prof. Saibaba is being held are violation of his right to life, dignity, equality, protection of torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, non-discrimination and right to health. Over the years, the Supreme Court has in several cases clearly held that prisoners also have certain fundamental rights which include those stated above, which in this case are being undoubtedly violated by the State.

But both the State and Central Governments are not responding and trying to kill him in the Anda Cell itself by his health problems. India is a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and the UN Resolution 70/175 on Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners. As Prof. Saibaba is a person with disability, the UNCRPD, which India also ratified, as well as the recently passed Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 (RPD Act), which was enacted to fulfil India’s obligation under the afore-mentioned convention, are wholly applicable to his case.

The Committee appeals to all democratically minded individuals and organizations to lend their support to the struggle to ensure that the basic human rights of Dr G N Saibaba is not violated. The appeal challenging his conviction has already been filed in the Bombay High Court (Nagpur Bench), and may come up for hearing once the Court reopens after vacation. But we need to ensure that proper medical care and attention is given to him. In order to get proper treatment Saibaba should be given treatement in Hyderabad, where members of his family can be of assistance to him. We appeal to the Jail authorities to transfer him to a superspeciality hospital in Hyderabad immediately. Shri Koul has assured to act upon the complaint.

Hany Babu MT
(Convenor)
Committee for the Defence and Release of Dr. G.N. Saibaba

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