A Delhi court on Wednesday has dismissed a plea by Olympic wrestler Sushil Kumar, who is accused in a murder case, seeking special food and supplements saying that persons, whether natural or juristic are equal in the eyes of the law irrespective of their caste, religion, sex, class, etc. The right to equality is a basic feature of the Constitution.
“It implies the rule of law. It also implies absence of any special privilege in any person due to his rank, status, whether rich or poor, etc. The law should be equal and should be equally administered, that like should be treated,” the court further added.
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (Rohini Court) Satvir Singh Lamba observed that all basic needs and necessities of the accused are being taken care of as per the provisions of Delhi Prisons Rule, 2018 and “the alleged special foods and supplements appears to be only the desires and wishes of the accused and are not in any manner the essential need or necessity for the accused.”
Advocate Pradeep Rana, Sushil Kumar’s counsel, averred that the accused has won several medals for the country and is a national hero; he then contended that the accused is innocent unless his guilt is proved before any court of law. It was further contended that Kumar still wishes to continue his career in wrestling and the alleged false implication should not lead to the end of his career in wrestling.
In the above statements the counsel sought the permission of the court for supply of special foods and supplements which contain protein, Omega-3 capsules, jointment capsules, Pre-workout C4, Hyde, Multivitamin GNC, Exercises Bands etc. for his future career in wrestling and survival.
The Additional Public Prosecutor as well as the Jail Superintendent (Tihar) argued against Kumar’s request and stated that the desire of the accused for special food supplements or extra protein etc. tantamounts to discrimination among prisoners. It was further contended that allowing such a kind of application may invite a flood of applications from more prisoners, who can afford such diet at their own expense. Also pointing out that the requirement of a prisoner shall not be decided on his previous lifestyle and the facilities regarding the food and other aspects are governed as per the Delhi Prisons Rules, 2018.
The Court observed that the Mr. Rana (Kumar’s Counsel) for reasons best known to him relied upon few judgments with regards to Delhi Prison Rules, 1988 and Delhi Prison Act, 1894 which is repealed after Delhi Prison Rules, 2018 and Delhi Prison act, 2000 came into force repealing the old laws respectively.
It was also observed by the court that the accused wants to pursue his career in wrestling, however he has neither disclosed the details of any upcoming competition for which he has been qualified to participate nor has mentioned the name of any competition in which he is participating in the near future.
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The Jail authorities also assured the court that all under-trial prisoners including the accused are getting a balanced and healthy diet without any discrimination and the same was not disputed by the accused.
The court ultimately observed that, “It is well settled law that all the persons, whether natural or juristic are equal in the eyes of law irrespective of their caste, religion, sex, class, etc. Right to equality is a basic feature of Indian Constitution. It implies the rule of law. It also implies absence of any special privilege in any person due to his rank, status, whether rich or poor, etc. The law should be equal and should be equally administered, that like should be treated alike.”