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Gautam Navlakha Will Be Taken To Tata Memorial Hospital To Examine Chest Lump, Maharashtra Govt Tells Bombay High Court

Sharmeen Hakim
2 Sep 2021 11:35 AM GMT
Bhima Koregaon

Gautam Navlakha

The Maharashtra government informed the Bombay High Court on Thursday that they will take Bhima Koregaon – Elgar Parishad case accused Gautam Navlakha to Tata Memorial Centre in Kharghar for investigations regarding a lump in his chest.

A division bench of Justices SS Shinde and NJ Jamadar was hearing the 70- year-olds plea for house arrest till the trial in the case concludes.

During the hearing, Advocate Yug Chaudhry asked for Navlakha to be examined at Jaslok Hospital as his sister works there as a nurse. He submitted Navlkaha had a lump in his chest and needed to be thoroughly examined.

In his plea Navalakha, said he noticed the lump in March 2021, but prison officials have not taken him for an examination despite several requests.

For the NIA, Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh opposed the request because there was no such prayer in the petition. He said Navlakha could be taken to a government hospital or Tata hospital, considering the fear of the lump being malignant.

"I want to mention only one thing, applications are now filed saying I want to go to so and so hospital...The govt hospitals are good enough.We are not saying he is not entitled to treatment. He can be taken to Tata."

Chaudhry assisted by Advocate Payoshi Roy conceded that there wasn't a specific prayer seeking transfer to Jaslok Hospital in the petition but accused NIA of vindictiveness, especially when they (petitioners) were willing to pay for treatment.

"What is the problem? People have to beg for the smallest of things in jail. What responsiveness (by the jail).. Just see. He wanted a chair, they didn't give it," he said.

Singh said he was only making a general statement.

The court said if Chaudhry still wanted Navlakha to be treated in Jaslok, a separate application could be made. In response, the advocate submitted that it was more important for Navlakha to get tested, considering the fear that the lump may be malignant (cancerous).

The public prosecutor said they would take Navalakha for tests to Tata Memorial Centre in Kharghar tomorrow itself.

The matter was then adjourned to September 27, after the prosecution sought two weeks to respond to the main petition.

Navalakha, along with 14 other civil liberties activists and academics are incarcerated, facing charges under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) based on electronic evidence to claim a conspiracy to overthrow the government.

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