ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Three Cities in China

the Sasoon General Hospital, Pune, for examination and treatment by the Psychiatrist. It was admitted that such prisoners were "given oral injection therapy'' and if there was no response, they were given "electric convulsive therapy under general anesthesia". It was claimed that all such treatment was given under due care, caution and in good faith. The treatment was absolutely necessary to save a prisoner from further aggravation of his disorder. The respondent further admitted that "the electric convulsive therapy under general anesthesia" was administered only when medical treatment was proved to be ineffective on the patient prisoner. The respondent denied that any prisoner was given electric shocks as torture* It was admitted that the prisoners named in the petition were subjected to electric shocks. The respondent asserted that the Jail Superintendent was a guardian and custodian of the prisoners and further stated that no consent of the prisoners or their relations was required by any law. In the annexure appended to the above counter affidavit, a chart showing the names, kinds of illnesses and treatments given to the prisoners was given. Among symptoms mentioned were 'refuses to work', 'mutters to self, 'hallucinates', Sleeplessness', 'depressed', etc The Court asked the petitioner to take the help of the district legal aid committee for ascertaining whether his allegations were true and adjourned for the vacation. The matter came up for hearing after the vacation before a bench consisting of S K Desai and Kur- dekar JJ. In the meantime, the petitioner had approached the district legal aid committee which, however, expressed its inability to help the petitioner in visiting the jail and ascertaining the truth of the allegations. The whole question revolved round the fact whether the prisoners who were being subjected to electric shocks treatment were in fact insane and therefore the petitioner once again urged the Court to appoint a commissioner consisting of legal and medical experts to go into that matter. Even if they were insane, the question whether they could be subjected to electric shocks without following the procedure prescribed by law remained to be answered. If such a treatment was given on medical grounds, could such a treatment be given without the consent of the person or of his near relation?

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