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Supreme Court judgement on Aruna Shanbaug

Supreme Court judgement on Aruna Shanbaug

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Published by Kevin Cohen

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Published by: Kevin Cohen on Mar 07, 2011
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REPORTABLEITEM NO.1A COURT NO.6 SECTION XS U P R E M E C O U R T O F I N D I ARECORD OF PROCEEDINGSWRIT PETITION (CRL.) NO(s). 115 OF 2009ARUNA RAMCHANDRA SHANBAUG Petitioner(s)VERSUSUNION OF INDIA & ORS. Respondent(s)[HEARD BY HON'BLE MARKANDEY KATJU AND GYAN SUDHA MISRA, JJ.)Date: 07/03/2011 This Writ Petition was called on for Judgment today.Amicus Curiae Mr. G.E. Vahanvati, Attorney General(Not present)Mr. Chinmoy P. Sharma, Adv.Dr. Aaray Lingaiah, Adv.Mr. Nishanth Patil, Adv.Mr. Anoopam Prasad, Adv.Ms. Naila Jung, Adv.Mr. Rohit Sharma, Adv.Mr. D.D.Kamat, Adv.Mr. D.S.Mahra, Adv.Amicus Curiae Mr. T.R. Andhyarujina, Sr. Adv.Mr. Soumik Ghosal, Adv.For Petitioner(s) Mr. Shekhar Naphade, Sr. Adv.Ms. Shubhangi Tuli, Adv.Ms. Divya Jain, Adv.Mr. Vimal Chandra S. Dave,Adv.For Respondent(s) Ms. Sunaina Dutta, Adv.Mrs.Suchitra Atul Chitale,Adv.Ms. Asha Gopalan Nair, Adv.Hon'ble Mr. Justice Markandey Katju pronounced thejudgment of the Bench comprising His Lordship and Hon'bleMrs. Justice Gyan Sudha Misra.For the reasons given in the reportable judgment whichis placed on the file, the writ petition is dismissed.(Parveen Kr.Chawla)Court Master ( Indu Satija )Court Master 
Aruna Ramchandra Shanbaug .. Petitioner -versus-Union of India and others .. Respondents
Markandey Katju, J.
³Marte hain aarzoo mein marne ki Maut aati hai par nahin aati´ 
. Heard Mr. Shekhar Naphade, learned senior counsel for the petitioner, learned Attorney Generalfor India for the Union of India Mr. Vahanvati, Mr.T. R. Andhyarujina, learned Senior Counsel, whom wehad appointed as
amicus curiae,
Mr. Pallav Sisodia,learned senior counsel for the Dean, KEM Hospital,Mumbai, and Mr. Chinmay Khaldkar, learned counsel
for the State of Maharashtra.2. Euthanasia is one of the most perplexing issueswhich the courts and legislatures all over the worldare facing today. This Court, in this case, isfacing the same issue, and we feel like a ship in anuncharted sea, seeking some guidance by the lightthrown by the legislations and judicialpronouncements of foreign countries, as well as thesubmissions of learned counsels before us. The casebefore us is a writ petition under Article 32 of theConstitution, and has been filed on behalf of thepetitioner Aruna Ramachandra Shanbaug by one Ms.Pinki Virani of Mumbai, claiming to be a nextfriend.3. It is stated in the writ petition that thepetitioner Aruna Ramachandra Shanbaug was a staff Nurse working in King Edward Memorial Hospital,Parel, Mumbai. On the evening of 27th November,
73she was attacked by a sweeper in the hospital whowrapped a dog chain around her neck and yanked her 
back with it. He tried to rape her but finding thatshe was menstruating, he sodomized her. Toimmobilize her during this act he twisted the chainaround her neck. The next day on 28th November,
73at 7.45 a.m. a cleaner found her lying on the floor with blood all over in an unconscious condition. It
is alleged that due to strangulation by the dogchain the supply of oxygen to the brain stopped andthe brain got damaged. It is alleged that theNeurologist in the Hospital found that she hadplantars' extensor, which indicates damage to thecortex or some other part of the brain. She also hadbrain stem contusion injury with associated cervicalcord injury. It is alleged at page
of thepetition that 36 years have expired since theincident and now Aruna Ramachandra Shanbaug is about60 years of age. She is featherweight, and her brittle bones could break if her hand or leg areawkwardly caught, even accidentally, under her lighter body. She has stopped menstruating and her skin is now like papier mache' stretched over askeleton. She is prone to bed sores. Her wrists are
twisted inwards. Her teeth had decayed causing her immense pain. She can only be given mashed food, onwhich she survives. It is alleged that ArunaRamachandra Shanbaug is in a persistent negetativestate (p.v.s.) and virtually a dead person and hasno state of awareness, and her brain is virtuallydead. She can neither see, nor hear anything nor canshe express herself or communicate, in any manner whatsoever. Mashed food is put in her mouth, she isnot able to chew or taste any food. She is not evenaware that food has been put in her mouth. She isnot able to swallow any liquid food, which showsthat the food goes down on its own and not becauseof any effort on her part. The process of digestiongoes on in this way as the mashed food passesthrough her system. However, Aruna is virtually askeleton. Her excreta and the urine is discharged onthe bed itself. Once in a while she is cleaned upbut in a short while again she goes back into thesame sub-human condition. Judged by any parameter,Aruna cannot be said to be a living person and it isonly on account of mashed food which is put into her 

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