Meghalaya HC grants bail to HIV positive woman accused under NDPS Act

Shillong, Oct 3 (UNI): The Meghalaya High Court has granted bail to a woman booked under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS Act) as she is HIV+ and undergoing treatment for the same.

While passing this order on September 29, Justice Wanlura Diengdoh opined that special consideration be given to the HIV-positive accused to get proper treatment in an environment congenial to her.


The Meghalaya High Court also recalled that the Supreme Court had granted bail to an accused who was suffering from HIV and appeared to be immuno-compromised. The accused woman had been booked on allegations that she had been in possession of a commercial quantity of drugs.

Diengdoh said that there are provisions for the Court to “take refuge” in the provision of Article 21 to say that the life and liberty of a person are equally important.

The Court observed that the HIV+ accused would have to undergo special treatment to prevent the aggravation of her condition and to ensure that she does not contract any sickness on account of her compromised immune system.

“There is no doubt that the District Prison and Correctional Home authorities are doing their best to ensure that the patient is being looked after even while in custody. However, it is also equally valid

to say that the person who is undergoing such procedure is not only physically depressed but also mentally depressed,” the judge further observed.

The Court granted the accused special consideration and allowed her release on bail on furnishing a surety of Rs 1 lakh.

“Needless to say, grant of bail is not the end of the matter, it is only to ensure that the accused shall not abscond. If the accused person would cooperate with the investigation and the trial, the purpose of the criminal proceedings would be served,” the judge said.

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