HC asks Mah Govt to file affidavit over bar girl custody

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Mumbai, Jun 11 (UNI) The Bombay High Court today directed the Maharashtra government to file an affidavit within a week's time over the custody of a bar girl, who is reportedly HIV-affected and asked why her medical examination was not done in the government-run J J Hospital or Bombay Hospital.

She was diagnosed HIV positive after undergoing a medical examination in King Edward Memorial Hospital.

A division bench of Chief Justice Swatantra Kumar and Justice V M Kande gave direction during the hearing of a letter written by an elderly couple, which was later turned into a petition, seeking permission from the court to end their lives and that of their two grandchildren in a desperate attempt to secure the release of their only daughter, a bar girl, who has been sent to a remand home after being picked up by the police.

Chief Public Prosecutor Satish Borulkar, appearing on behalf of state government, told the court that the petitioner's daughter, arrested by the police, is HIV positive.

Producing the report from the KEM Hospital, Mr Borulkar said considering the girl's ailment and her family's condition, police had asked the local court to keep her in protective custody through an NGO, which was accepted by the local court and accordingly, she was ordered for a protective custody of a year.

This argument of the public prosecutor was not accepted by the Court. While raising suspicion over the report, the bench observed that the examination was conducted in KEM Hospital while the state was taking the undertrials to the J J Hospital.

Taking the statement of the state on record, the court ordered fresh medical examination.

According to the petition, 26-year-old Sulekha was working in a local restaurant and on April 24, she was picked up by the Social Service branch of the Mumbai police. She was later produced before a magistrate, who sent her to a remand home for a year.

The court was informed that the petitioners have become helpless after their daughter was sent to the remand home. Now, her two sons are also dependent on them, as her husband had passed away two years ago.

The court was further told that in this regard, they approached the magistrate seeking her release, but they were told to move the High Court.

''We have lost all hope and are seeking your permission to end our lives,'' said Manoranjan Das and his wife, while appearing in person before the Court.

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