New Delhi: The Calcutta high court on Wednesday ordered the release of a Nepali citizen who has been incarcerated for over 40 years in a correctional home here as an undertrial prisoner in connection with a murder case in Darjeeling, after he was found unfit to stand trial.
Dipak Jaishi, who is now 70, has been languishing in Dum Dum Central Correctional Home since his arrest in Darjeeling district of West Bengal for the alleged murder of a man there in 1981.
Ham radio operators traced him following information by a person who was lodged at the same correctional home.
Jaishi’s relatives, who did not know about his whereabouts all these years, contacted the Nepal government after learning about his incarceration in Kolkata.
Taking notice of a news report on Jaishi’s detention, the Chief Justice of the Calcutta high court had asked a lawyer to file a petition before the court.
The petition was filed earlier this year, seeking Jaishi’s release and repatriation to Nepal.
State Legal Service Authority lawyer Jayanta Narayan Chatterjee said that Jaishi has developed mental health issues and has no memory of his native place in Nepal.
According to Bar & Bench, Jaishi’s mental status was assessed sometime in 1982 and there was no contrary report till date before the sessions court where the murder case is still pending trial. The high court, opined that there was no “useful purpose” in continuing to detain Jaishi at the correctional home.
A report by psychology experts of the University of Calcutta has stated to the court that his IQ level indicates that his current mental age in terms of intellectual functioning is around 9 years and 9 months.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice T.B.N. Radhakrishnan and Justice Aniruddha Roy ordered the release of Jaishi and entrusted his custody to his cousin Prakash Chandra Sharma Timsina, who became a party to the case after learning about his whereabouts.
The bench 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 Jaishi’s release.
The bench directed Timsina to furnish a simple bond undertaking to produce Jaishi as and when directed by the court.
The court directed that the bond should be attested by Satish Thapa, Office Secretary of Consulate General of Nepal in India at Kolkata.
Upon execution of the bond to the satisfaction of the registrar general of the high court at the earliest, preferably within a day, the Dum Dum Central Correctional Home will release Dipak to the custody of Timsina, the bench directed.
The court directed that upon his release, all statutory authorities will ensure and do the needful to facilitate Jaishi’s transit to Nepal under the aegis of the Consulate General of Nepal in India at Kolkata.
(With PTI inputs)