NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court Wednesday suspended by four weeks the sentence of a murder convict who is suffering from HIV infection and sought to be released from jail on the ground that his immunity was low for surviving the on going coronavirus pandemic.
A bench of Justices Jayant Nath and Prateek Jalan, which conducted the hearing through video conferencing, allowed the man's plea to suspend his sentence and released him on bail for four weeks on furnishing of a personal bond of Rs 25,000.
"Keeping in view the facts and circumstances of this case and the present pandemic, we are inclined to allow the present application. The application is allowed.
The sentence of the applicant/appellant shall remain suspended for a period of four weeks from the date of release and he be released on bail during the said period," the bench said.
The court said the man shall surrender at the end of the suspension period and the jail authorities shall observe all the precautions, as recommended by the high powered committee in view of the pandemic, at the time of his release and surrender.
The man sought suspension of his sentence for 90 days as he feared of catching coronavirus infection in the jail.
The man in his plea, filed through advocate K Singhal, said he was in the third stage of AIDS and even his wife and minor daughter were also HIV positive and there was no one in the family to look after them.
The counsel said the convict was not keeping good health and his immunity was stated to be very weak to survive the on-going coronavirus pandemic.
The court noted that the high powered committee which was appointed on account of the pandemic, has passed directions on March 18 saying that in the cases which are pending before courts, it is for the appropriate court to pass appropriate orders on suspension of sentence.
While granting the relief, the court asked the man to provide his mobile number to the jail superintendent or SHO of the concerned area at the time of his release.
It directed him not try to influence the witnesses or tamper with the evidence and not to leave the national capital without prior permission of the court.
On March 15, the high court had suspended his sentence for two weeks to consult and receive treatment at the Indraprastha Apollo Hospital here.
Jail authorities were also taking him for treatment to various government hospitals.
On April 3, the man again approached the high court seeking extension of the period of interim suspension of sentence by 60 days, which was rejected by the high court.
Thereafter, he filed a fresh plea which was allowed by the court on Wednesday.