Division bench comprising of SB Shukre and AS Kilor JJ has issued notice against morshi open prison officials in a plea filed by convict seeking regitratiob of offence under sec 304A of IPC and setting up of a committee headed by officer not below the rank of District and Sessions Judge, Amravati for investigating the death of Pradip Mahadevrao Gadekar, C-617 who met with tragic death due to irresponsible behavior and sheer negligence on the part of respondents.
The plea has been filed against Jail Superintendent, Morshi Open Prison, Morshi, Amaravati, Smt Kanchan Sonare, Medical Officer, Ashok V. Malvad, In charge Jail Superintendent, Manohar Vyankatrao Pate, Jail Guard, Ankush Narayan Tejankar, Jail Guard and D.I.G. (Prisons) (East) Nagpur.
The plea alleges that, Pradip Mahadevrao Gadekar, C-617 was undergoing imprisonment at Morshi Open Prison, Morshi, Amaravati. He has died on 16-11-2019. That, 6-7 days prior to his death, Pradip Mahadevrao Gadekar, C-617 was suffering from ulcer on his tongue. That, due said ailment, he was in severe pain and therefore time and again he was requesting Smt. Kanchan Sonare to send him to Government Hospital for his treatment but Smt. Kanchan Sonarealways turned deaf ear to his request and refused to send him to Government Hospital for his treatment. That, Smt. Kanchan Sonare used to prescribe him some pills and used to tell him that, when guard will be available, he will be sent to Government Hospital for his treatment but he was never sent to Government Hospital for his treatment by Smt. Kanchan Sonare and Ashok V. Malvad.
That, thereafter, Pradip Mahadevrao Gadekar, C-617 met Ashok V. Malvad and told him that, he had written furlough leave and police report is also received in June-July 2019 and therefore he should co-ordinate with the office of Respondent no. 6 so that, his leave may be sanctioned and he may get himself treated at the Hospital after coming out of the jail but Ashok V. Malvad did not pay any heed to his request.
That, on 16-11-2019 at 11.30 pm, it was severely bleeding from the mount of Pradip, therefore petitioner- Ramesh Rathod, Siddharth Shamrao Dhoke and 17-18 other prisoners from Barack no. 1 gave a call to Manohar Vyankatrao Pate andAnkush Narayan Tejankar who were jail guard at that time but nobody gave any response when in fact immediate response should have been given by Jail guards as they were responsible for keeping a watch on prisoners and ensure their well being. That, Pradip was crying the entire night as he was in severe pain. That, on 17-11-2019 at 7-8 am, ultimately Pradip was sent to Government Hospital, Morshi for treatment. That, one Rahul Harishchandra Bhaiskar, convict was also undergoing treatment at Government Hospital, Morshi as informed by him, Doctor attending Pradip told that, condition of Pradip is extremely severe, he should have been brought to Hospital much earlier and he needs to be immediately shifted to Government Hospital, Amravati or else he may die.
That, Jail Guard, Vijay Gawli, thereafter made telephonic calls to Ashok V. Malvad but same were not answered and at around 10.30 am, telephonic call Jail Guard, Vijay Gawli were answered by Ashok V. Malvad and thereafter, he gave direction to shift Pradip to Government Hospital, Amravati for treatment. Thereafter, Pradip was shifted Pradip to Government Hospital, Amravati for treatment but on 19-11-2019, petitioner received unfortunate news about the death of Pradip Mahadevrao Gadekar, C-617.
The plea alleges that, Pradip Mahadevrao Gadekar, C-617 has died due to sheer negligence and irresponsible attitude of Respondents. That, if Pradip was sent to Government Hospital, Morshi for treatment well in time, he would not have tragic and unfortunate death.
The plea further alleges that, all the convicts undergoing imprisonment at Open Prison, Morshi are witnessing the irresponsible and negligent behavior of Respondents. That, whenever, any convict complains about health problems, he is prescribed with some pills available in Prison and they are not sent to Government Hospital, Morshi even though health of a convict is critical.
The plea further alleges that, possibility of Respondents receiving some monetary consideration in return for prescribing substandard medicines cannot be ruled out. It submitted that, allegations of petitioners against Respondent are serious and needs to be enquired into thoroughly by appointing a committee headed by committee headed by Judicial Officer not below the rank of District and Sessions Judge, Amravati.
The plea further alleges that, there are nearly 42 prisoners who are ready to depose against the Respondents in the matter of death of Pradip Mahadevrao Gadekar, C-617.
The plea further alleges that, the death of Pradip Mahadevrao Gadekar, C-617 needs to be investigated at the hands of committee headed by Judicial Officer not below the rank of District and Sessions Judge, Amravati and enquiry preferably should be done by calling prisoners to the premises of District and Sessions Court, Amravati as prisoners will not be able to depose properly as they will be under threat of Respondents and atmosphere at Open Prison, Morshi will be hostile for them to depose.
On 2-06-2020, matter was heard by Division bench comprising of SB Shukre and AS Kilor JJ who made following observations,
“This petition is virtually in the nature of Public Interest Litigation for the reason that it relates to an issue as to the neglect of prisoners by the Jail Authorities, particularly at Morshi Open Prison, Morshi, District Amravati. The issue raised in the petition is serious and it raises question mark on the attitude and functioning of prison authorities of Morshi Open Jail. According to the petitioner, one Pradip Mahadevrao Gadekar was suffering from some serious disease but he was neglected and because of such neglect on the part of prison authorities, the said prisoner lost his life. According to the petitioner, if this is allowed to be ignored, same tragedy may happen to any other prisoners in future as well. The issue raised in this petition, therefore, is required to be dealt with appropriately.”
The notice has been issued and has been kept returnable after 3 weeks.
Adv Mir Nagman Ali appeared for Ramesh Kisan Rathod.