SC Denies Victim Unconscious for 36 Years Permission to Die

In a case of a woman lying unconscious in a Mumbai hospital for 36 years, the Supreme Court has said that ‘under the law of country, we cannot allow a person to die’.

The question before the bench comprising CJI Justice KG Balakrishnan and Justice AK Ganguly and Justice BS Chauhan was that whether the woman was fed anymore or not.

To seek a direction on above matter, the petition was moved by 59-year-old Aruna Ramchandra Shanbaug who has been lying in a vegetative state for last 36 years in Mumbai’s KEM hospital after being sexually assaulted by a sweeper.

Hearing the plea, the Bench sought a response from the Centre and Maharashtra government.

The Bench, which was hesitant to entertain the petition, agreed to issue the notice after advocate Shekhar Nafde explained that it is not the case of “euthanasia” and the plea on behalf of the hapless woman was moved by her next friend Pinki Virani.

“This is no human right. Her life is worse than animal existence,” the advocate said referring to Shanbaug.

He said that Shanbaug, who had joined as a nurse in the KEM hospital in 1966, was sexually assaulted in 1973, rendered immobile and unconscious and has been lying on bed after the incident.

The petition sought a direction for the state government and Municipal Corporation of Brihan Mumbai to carry out tests to ascertain the medical condition of the woman.

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