Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Delhi High Court to hear interim bail plea of ex-Chairman PFI E Abubacker on February 3

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The Delhi High Court listed the interim bail application of former Chairman of Popular Front of India (PFI), Erappungal Abubacker to February 3, as the Bench set to hear the case, will not assemble today.

Earlier on December 19, the Bench of Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Talwant Singh had rejected the petition filed by Abubacker seeking house arrest on grounds of his deteriorating health.

The High Court had observed that since the petitioner was seeking medical bail, there was no reason to grant him house arrest. It further said that the Court would direct the Jail authorities to admit him in a hospital, if the need arose for the same.  

The Bench had perused the medical status report of Abubacker, which mentioned that he had an appointment with the Onco-Surgery department of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

It directed the Medical Superintendent of AIIMS to file a report before the Court regarding the treatment prescribed by the Onco Surgery department of AIIMS to Abubacker on the next date of hearing.

Abubacker’s son was permitted to accompany him during his consultation and treatment of cancer by the Onco-Surgery department of AIIMS.

Appearing for the septuagenarian, Advocate Adit S Pujari referred to the Apex Court order of November 30, wherein the Bench of Justice K.M. Joseph and Justice Hrishikesh Roy had permitted 73-year-old human rights activist Gautam Navlakha, an accused in the Bhima Koregaon violence case, to be transferred from Taloja Prison, where he is currently lodged, to house arrest for one month, on medical grounds.

The High Court then observed that the Gautam Navlakha case was not a template.

On November 30 last year, the same Division Bench had refused house arrest to Abubacker. The High Court had issued notice to NIA and sought a status report on the matter.

The PFI chief, who belongs to a village in Kozhikode district of Kerala, was active in organisations like the Ideal Students League, Jama’at-e-Islami and Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).

He was arrested by NIA on September 22 and has remained in judicial custody since October 6.

The 70-year-old sought regular bail on medical grounds under Section 439 of Cr.P.C., arguing that he was a retired school teacher and was currently suffering from various medical ailments, including a rare form of cancer called ‘Gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma’.

The petitioner further said that he was suffering from Parkisnon’s Disease, hypertension, diabetes, loss of vision and ailment related to nervous system, for which he has been undergoing treatment since 2019 at specialised cancer hospitals.

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