Kashmir Indepth

Delhi HC orders shifting of Kashmiri separatist Altaf Ahmad Shah to AIIMS for cancer treatment

New Delhi, Oct 5: The Delhi High Court has ordered the shifting of Kashmiri separatist Altaf Ahmad Shah, currently in jail and facing trial for an alleged terror funding case probed by the NIA, to AIIMS for appropriate treatment after he was stated to have been diagnosed with cancer.

Shah, the son-in-law of late Hurriyat leader SAS Geelani, told the court he was receiving treatment for certain serious ailments at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital (RML) but it was recently revealed he was suffering from the last stage of renal cancer.

While claiming RML does not have the adequate facility to treat renal cancer, he prayed he should be allowed to be shifted to AIIMS or Apollo Hospital for urgent treatment.

Justice Sudhir Kumar Jain, without going into the merits of the case under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, said right to have adequate and suitable treatment was the part of the fundamental rights under the Constitution and it was in the interest of justice that the petitioner receives treatment at AIIMS.

“The medical record submitted on behalf of the petitioner reflects that the petitioner is suffering from various ailments. The petitioner is also diagnosed with renal cancer although there is no such medical document submitted on behalf of the petitioner.

“However, without going into the merits of the case as the right to have adequate and suitable treatment is the part of fundamental right as enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution and after considering the totality of the circumstances and in the interest of justice it is ordered that the petitioner be shifted to AIIMS, Delhi for appropriate treatment under the judicial custody and direct supervision of the concerned jail superintendent and after following all necessary security measures,” said the court in its order dated October 3.

The NIA stated that at present, there was no medical record available to indicate that the petitioner is suffering from renal cancer and that the doctors at RML had not recommended his transfer to any other hospital.

In its order, the court also granted permission to the petitioner to either meet his son or daughter once a day for one hour in the hospital.

Necessary expenses likely to be incurred in the transportation of the petitioner to AIIMS and for further treatment shall be borne by the petitioner, the court added.–(PTI)

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