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The Bombay High Court recently allowed home food to an undertrial and rejected the Maharashtra government’s appeal against granting it.
Justice A.M. Dhavale was hearing an appeal filed by the State challenging a sessions court order granting home food to Vikramsinh Chauhan.
He is facing charges of murder, kidnapping for ransom and gang rape, and had undergone two angioplasties and is suffering from breathlessness and spinal problems.
On January 16, 2016, the jail authorities had rejected Mr. Chauhan’s plea as allowing home food is in violation of Sections 31 and 32 of the Prisons Act.
Additional public prosecutor R.V. Dasalkar said under the provisions of the Prisons Act, home food is not allowed and the decision could only be taken by the jail authorities.
The court said, “Since every accused is presumed to be innocent till he is held guilty, the seriousness of the allegations against the petitioner cannot be a ground to deny him the facilities available to all the undertrials unless there are special reasons for denying so.”
The court concluded that the sessions judge was within his jurisdiction to permit home food after being satisfied about the undertrial’s health condition, and dismissed the petition.