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Tripura High Court directs Centre, state govt to conduct HIV tests in prisons, ensure proper treatment to HIV positive inmates

The Tripura High Court has directed the state and the Union of India to issue necessary guidelines to its authorities in association with the Aids Control Society to conduct a thorough research of all persons residing in state prisons, either as prisoners or as undertrial prisoners, to ascertain whether they are inflicted with HIV.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Indrajit Mahanty and Justice Subhashis Talapatra directed on Monday that if any such person is found, necessary action thereof for their treatment and care may also be taken in accordance with law.

The High Court had registered a suo motu PIL on the issue of necessary care and treatment be provided to the prisoners in the state inflicted with HIV.

“We leave it to the authorities concerned to take up this matter at an urgent basis, essentially to ensure that if any such case exists in the state of Tripura and its jails, the same should not become an epidemic and necessary care and treatment of such persons, as may be required, be initiated at the earliest. A report to such effect be submitted before this Court by November 9,” the Court ordered and fixed November 12 as the next date of hearing.

The Bench appointed Advocate Paromita Dhar as Amicus in the matter and directed the Counsel for the state and other respondents to serve copies of their affidavits to her. The High Court directed the Registry to provide copies on records to Ms Dhar and also share with her, the report of the respondents.

“The report may be treated as confidential and names of such individuals, if any, may not be indicated except the numbers. The state shall permit the Amicus to visit the prisons on prior notice and IG (Prisons) to provide all necessary assistance in this regard,” the order read.

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