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Supreme Court to rule on mercy killing plea this week

Sunday March 06, 2011 09:23:33 PM, IANS

New Delhi: The Supreme Court appears all set to shed light Monday on the complexities involved in laying down a law on mercy killing in the case of a nurse lying in a "persistent vegetative state" in Mumbai's King Edward Memorial Hospital for over 37 years.

A bench of Justice Markandey Katju and Justice Gyan Sudha Misra, while deciding a petition seeking the nurse's mercy killing, may either lay down rules for passive euthanasia to guard against abuse or reject the plea to remove the life support system of comatose Aruna Shanbaug (63), a rape victim, to end her life.

In the last hearing, the court was told that if there was unanimity among immediate relatives and doctors to put a comatose patient to permanent sleep, then there should be no difficulty.

The judges expressed apprehension that mercy killing may be open to abuse as relatives and doctors, for financial gains, may put a patient to sleep even though he or she may not be terminally ill.

The judges referred to the British practice of judicial declaration before a terminally ill patient can be put to sleep.

On Tuesday, a bench of Justice B. Sudershan Reddy and Justice S.S. Nijjar would hear the case related to custodial interrogation of Pune stud farm owner Hassan Ali and others who are accused of stashing huge amounts of money in banks abroad.

The court, at the last hearing, said there could not be two sets of law - one for the common man and another for rich and influential people like Ali.

Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium was asked by the court as to what prevented the government from custodial interrogation of culprits, instead of allowing them move freely.

He was also asked to answer whether the court should appoint an officer to supervise culprits' interrogation.

The central government was also asked to tell why it had withdrawn certain officials in the middle of the investigations into money laundering in the tax havens.

The bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice A.K. Ganguly will hear the central government and the Haryana government Monday on attacks on Dalits of Mirchpur village in Hisar district of Haryana.

The two governments were told in the last hearing to give details of steps taken to recover the losses incurred on account of the rail and road blockade enforced by the members of Jat community in the district.

The mahapanchayat in the Jind district of Haryana called for the agitation demanding release of the community members arrested for the attacks on Mirchpur Dalits.
An elderly man and his physically challenged daughter were killed in the arson attack in Mirchpur April 21, 2010.

In the spectrum scam case, the court would Tuesday hear the telecom operators who are opposing petitioner and Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy's petition seeking cancellation of their second generation (2G) licences. The petitioner wants the telecom operators punished for failing to meet the contractual obligation of timely rollout.

Swamy has also sought the cancellation of their licences for wrongdoings by former communications minister A. Raja, in judicial custody till March 17, in the grant of 2G licences. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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