Supreme Court Criticizes Manipur Court for Denying Medical Treatment to ‘Kuki’ Prisoner

By Legal Wires 4 Minutes Read

The Supreme Court on Wednesday criticized the Manipur High Court’s decision to deny hospital treatment to a prisoner from the minority ‘Kuki’ community, in light of ethnic clashes in the state.

Expressing disappointment, the Supreme Court stated, “We do not trust the state… The accused was not taken to hospital because he is from the Kuki community. So sad! We direct him to be examined now. If the medical report reveals something serious, we will take you to task.”

The appeal was made to the Supreme Court by Lunkhongjam Haokip, who was arrested by state police in October 2022 for illegal possession of around two kilograms of brown sugar. The prisoner, suffering from ailments such as piles, tuberculosis, and chronic tonsillitis, had complained of severe back and abdominal pain to the jail authorities. The Manipur High Court had denied his request for hospital treatment, citing that “he belongs to the Kuki community and it would be dangerous to shift him given the law and order situation in the State.”

The Supreme Court bench, while passing the order stated:

“We could have observed many things as regards the approach of the State as well the High Court. For the present, we do not observe anything. We direct the Jail Superintendent concerned as well as the responsible authority of the State of Manipur to immediately make necessary arrangements to take the petitioner to Guwahati Medical College and get him examined at the said hospital…All expenses in this regard shall be borne by the State of Manipur.”

On May 3, 2023, Manipur witnessed deadly ethnic clashes between the majority Meitis and the minority Kuki-Zomi-Mizo-Chin communities. The violence erupted over the Manipur High Court’s decision to include the Meitis in the “Scheduled Tribes” (ST) list. The Kuki tribe, already recognized as an ST group, vehemently protested this inclusion, arguing that it would give an undue advantage to the Meitis, an already advanced community, and encroach upon the reserved rights of the Kuki people.

Legal Wires

Team @LegalWires

    Related Posts