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‘No differential treatment’ — SC rejects bail for 1984 riots convict suffering from Covid

The SC observed that Mahender Singh Yadav was admitted to an ICU and there was no specific grievance against the nature of treatment being given to him.

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court Wednesday refused to give interim bail to anti-sikh riots co-convict Mahender Singh Yadav, who had asked for relief on the ground that he was suffering from Covid-19.

A vacation bench of Justices Indira Banerjee and B.R. Gavai, which heard Yadav’s plea through video-conferencing, observed that the applicant was admitted to an Intensive Care Unit and there was no specific grievance against the nature of treatment being given to him.

Senior advocate R. Basant’s request to let Yadav’s family members visit him was also turned down by the top court.

“A differential treatment cannot be meted out just because he is under detention. Relatives of Covid patients are generally not allowed in hospitals,” the bench told the senior counsel.

In the absence of an exact allegation or complaint regarding the treatment he has been receiving, it was not possible to entertain his plea, said the bench. The family has also given no suggestion on where it wished to take Yadav.

In his bail plea, Yadav also claimed that he has spent a year in jail and urged the court for leniency.

A former MLA, 70-year-old Yadav was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in jail by the Delhi High Court on 17 December 2018 for his role in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case. His appeal against the verdict is pending before the Supreme Court, which has issued notice to the CBI.

Also read: SC seeks CBI reply on parole plea by 1984 riot convict Balwan Khokhar

‘No distinction for convict’

An earlier petition by Yadav for parole was rejected by the top court on 13 March, after it was observed that he suffered from no ailment.

Yadav had moved a fresh bail application on 26 June after he tested positive for Covid-19 at the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital. He pointed out that the inmate with whom he shared his barrack had passed away from the novel coronavirus on 15 June.

On Wednesday, Yadav re-agitated his request for parole, claiming that his conduct in jail has been uniformly good. He is currently admitted to the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash (LNJP) Hospital, his petition says. It also claims that he has been suffering from other infirmities, including urinary inconsistency, acute diabetes and kidney problems.

Additional Solicitor General K. Natrajan, appearing for the CBI, however opposed Yadav’s plea and said allowing bail would set a precedent and become a reason for others to file similar applications.

In its order, the bench noted that every possible effort was being made to treat Yadav.

The court also recorded Natrajan’s statement to say that all patients were given equal treatment and “no distinction can be meted out” to Yadav.

Also read: Don’t question Sikhs helping Muslims. We know what hate is and does


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