Kolkata, Mar 18 (ILNS) The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday directed to release immediately a Nepal national, having mental age of around nine years and is in custody for the past 41 years.
The Division Bench of Chief Justice Thottathil B Radhakrishnan and Justice Aniruddha Roy, while taking suo motu cognisance in the matter of undertrial prisoner (UTP) Dipak Joshi alias Jaisi, who remained lodged in Dum Dum Central Correctional Home since January 1982, pending trial in the Court of First Additional District & Sessions Judges, Darjeeling, directed the authorities to expedite his transit to Nepal.
The West Bengal State Legal Services Authority (SLSA) and the Directorate of Correctional Services (DCS) presented Dipak before the Department of Psychology, University Colleges of Science, Technology and Agriculture, Calcutta University on January 11, 2021.
The Department, through Manisha Dasgupta, Associate Professor and Somdeb Mitra, in a report stated that the IQ level of Dipak indicated his current mental age to be around nine years and nine months. The SLSA then contacted the Consulate General of Nepal, which traced out Dipak’s mother, who was around 90 years of age.
The Court, after assessing the undertrial’s mental status, invoked its authority under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (inherent powers of High Court) and Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution to order Dipak’s release.
The Court also took cognisance of the Supreme Court’s ruling in the case of news item ’38 years in jail without trial’ published in a leading English daily, in Reliance Vs Union of India and ruled, “This course will also be in consonance with the power of the Court to grant bail pending trial”.
The Court noted that it was impossible and impermissible to direct such undertrial to execute any bond in view of the deficit in his mental capacity. “Ends of justice will be satisfied if his release is supported by a simple bond furnished by Prakash Chandra Sharma Timsina (relative) in favour of the Registrar General of this Court undertaking to produce him, as and when directed by this Court”.
The Court directed that after such bond has been executed at the earliest, preferably today or tomorrow, the Dum Dum Central Correction Home shall release the said person and hand over his custody to his relative Prakash Chandra Sharma Timsina.
The relative will execute the bail bond, present it to the Dum Dum Central Correctional Home and take charge of Dipak. He will thereupon keep the Consulate General of Nepal in India at Kolkata updated once in six months, until otherwise ordered, with requisite inputs as may be required at that end regarding the affairs of the undertrial, the Court directed.
Upon his release, the Court directed that all Statutory Authorities will ensure and do the needful to facilitate the transit of Dipak Joshi alias Jaisi alias Jaishi to Nepal under the aegis of the Consulate General of Nepal in India at Kolkata. ILNS/SNG/RJ