Maha govt must tackle COVID-19 spread at Arthur Road Jail: HC

Mumbai, May 9 () The Bombay High Court directed theMaharashtra government to take an appropriate policy decisionto tackle the spread of COVID-19 at Arthur Road Jail incentral Mumbai.

At least 77 inmates and 26 personnel of Arthur RoadJail tested positive for coronavirus early this week.

Justice Bharati Dangre on Friday was hearing a bailapplication filed by Ali Akbar Shroff, one of the inmates atthe prison, seeking temporary bail on medical grounds.

In his order, Justice Dangre noted that the situationwas precarious and in such a contingency, the state governmentand the policy makers should take a decision.Advertisement

The authorities must remember that inmates had theright to a safe and healthy environment even when they wereincarcerated, Justice Dangre said.

The court directed the state government and prisondepartment to take appropriate steps.

"There is always a hope and expectation that the jailauthorities are sensitive to the prevalent situation," thecourt said.

"Under such circumstances, it is open for the stategovernment and jail authorities to take appropriate policydecision to tackle the situation to keep all inmates safe andensure that they contain the spread of virus in the jail," thecourt said.Advertisement

Shroff's counsel Aabad Ponda argued that the inmatesuffered from diabetes, hypertension and high blood pressure,and hence, needed to be kept safe to ensure that he does notcontract the infection.

The court, however, rejected Shroff's plea afternoting that no imminent health impediment was reflected in hiscase. SPARU ARU