SC Sets Aside HC's Interim Bail on Medical Grounds to Ex-UP Minister Gayatri Prasad Prajapati in Gang-rape Case
File photo of Former Uttar Pradesh Minister Gayatri Prajapati.
The Supreme Court on Thursday set aside Allahabad High Court's order which granted interim bail for two months on medical grounds to former Uttar Pradesh minister Gayatri Prasad Prajapati — accused in a gang rape case. A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan allowed the appeal filed by the UP government and said that the September 3 order of high court is unsustainable.
Prajapati, who was a minister in the erstwhile Samajwadi Party government, is accused of raping, along with others, a woman and attempting to molest her minor daughter. There was no satisfaction recorded by the high court that treatment offered to respondent (Prajapati) was not adequate and he requires any further treatment by any particular medical institute for which it is necessary to release the respondent on interim bail on medical grounds, the bench, also comprising Justices R S Reddy and M R Shah, noted in its order.
The high court, without considering the entire materials on record, has passed the impugned order dated September 3, 2020 which is unsustainable. In result, we allow this appeal, set aside the order dated September 3, the bench said. The bench also dealt with the arguments advanced by Prajapati's counsel who had said that every person, even if he or she is an accused in a serious offence, requires a humane treatment by the prison authorities. There can be no two views with regard to above. Humane treatment to all including an accused is requirement of law. Furthermore, a prisoner, who is suffering from an ailment, has to be given due treatment and care while in prison, the bench noted.
During the arguments in the top court, the UP government had said that the state is providing full medical facilities and treatment to Prajapati. The apex court had on September 21 stayed the operation of the order passed by the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court.
The state government, in its appeal in the apex court, had said that the "high court has erroneously granted a short-term bail of two months to the respondent accused in a POCSO case solely on medical grounds ignoring that the accused has throughout been treated in premier national medical Institutes KGMC/ SG-PGI, also specially when the regular bail application of the respondent has already been fixed for hearing in the week commencing September 28". It had said that the accused was a "very prominent minister in the erstwhile government and wielded considerable influence in the environs of powers". The political position of the accused was so dominating that the FIR against him was registered only after the victim approached the Supreme Court, the UP government had said. The high court, while granting interim bail, had said that threat to the ex-minister from COVID-19 was real and imminent and he has been asked by doctors to get treated at a super-specialty hospital as he was suffering from various diseases.
Prajapati has been in jail since March 15, 2017 and is currently undergoing treatment for various ailments at KGMU. The gang rape case was lodged with Gautampalli police station in 2017 and later, Prajapati was arrested and sent to jail on March 15, 2017. He was earlier granted bail by a sessions court in the case but it was cancelled by the high court before his release from jail.