Court poser on terminally ill foreigners in jails

NEW DELHI, MARCH 24. The Delhi High Court today sought to know why the Government should not allow terminally ill foreigners languishing in Indian jails to go back instead of spending huge public money on their treatment.

The question was posed to the Additional Solicitor General (ASG), P P Malhotra, by Mr Justice B D Ahmed during hearing of a bail plea of an AIDS-infected Swiss women lodged in Tihar Jail here who wanted to go back to her country for treatment.

The ASG sought time to inform the court if there was any policy on terminally ill foreigners languishing in Indian jails on account of cases pending against them in courts.

The case will now be taken up for hearing on April 8.

Earlier, the court had issued notice to the Air Customs Officer of IGI Airport in the matter and sought to know the government's policy in such cases but the Customs Department did not place on record any such policy.

It had also directed that the Swiss national be given proper medical treatment at RML Hospital here after a medical report confirmed that she was suffering from AIDS.

The 38-year-old Swiss woman lodged in jail in a drugs smuggling case had moved the court for her release on bail to go back to her country for treatment of the deadly disease.

Pending the petition, her counsel, Rakesh Tiku, had sought her to be released on interim bail to enable her ``get the medical treatment of the appropriate standard in a private hospital in Delhi before she is in a physical and medical condition to leave the country for taking treatment in Switzerland''.

Tiku had said there was no point in keeping such undertrials in Indian jails and spending public money on them.- PTI

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