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Madras HC cancels jail term for AIDS patient on humanitarian grounds

The Madras High Court Monday set aside a month-long jail term awarded to an AIDS patient in a nearly three-decades-old funds misappropriation case on humanitarian grounds.

Justice MV Muralidharan allowed a revision petition filed by the convict considering his health condition.

The judge, however, increased the fine amount imposed on the petitioner from Rs 500 each in the two cases to Rs 5,000 each.

“I am of the view that the punishment of imprisonment for a period of one month has to be modified due to the nature of the disease and the sufferings of the petitioner/accused, on humanitarian grounds,” the judge said in his order.

The petitioner had misappropriated funds running into several lakhs of rupees in 1991.

The trial courts in 2010 and 2013 awarded one-year imprisonment to him in each case and a fine of Rs 500 each.

Challenging this, he had moved the lower appellate courts, which considering his health condition, had reduced the sentence to one-month rigorous imprisonment each.

The courts were moved by the petitioner’s submission that he was in his last days.

They were also worried that his confinement in prison may further deteriorate his health.

Allowing the revision petition, the judge noted that the government advocate too had not disputed the fact that the petitioner was suffering from AIDS.


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