The Tripura High Court has directed the state and the Union of India, to issue the necessary guidelines, to its authorities, in collaboration with the AIDS Control Society, to conduct thorough research of all individuals in state prisons, either as prisoners or as undertrial prisoners to determine if they are infected with HIV.
“We leave it to the authorities concerned to take up this matter at an urgent basis, essentially to ensure that if any such case exists in the state of Tripura and its jails, the same should not become an epidemic and necessary care and treatment of such persons, as may be required, be initiated at the earliest. A report to such effect be submitted before this Court by November 9”, the court-ordered. Further, the court scheduled the next hearing for 12 November.
The High Court had registered a PIL-Suo Motu on the issue of necessary care and treatment for prisoners in the HIV-infected state. The state must allow the amicus to visit prisons with prior notice and IG (prisons) must provide all necessary assistance in this regard”, the order reads.
A Division Bench consisting of Chief Justice Indrajit Mahanty and Judge Subhashis Talapatra ordered on Monday that if such a person is found, the necessary steps for their treatment and care in accordance with the law can be taken. The court-appointed advocate Paromita Dhar an amicus on the matter and ordered the prosecutor and other defendants to give her copies and share the respondent’s report with her.