While dismissing an application filed by Olympic medallist wrestler Sushil Kumar seeking special food and supplements in the prison, the Delhi court observed that everyone is equal in the eyes of law, and these appear to be the desires and wishes of the accused, but are not the essential need or necessity in any manner
By: Surbhi Kumari, Amity University, Patna
Sushil Kumar is in judicial custody in connection with Chhatarsal stadium murder case. As per the prosecution case, Sushil Kumar and other accused took the deceased Sonu to Chhatarsal Stadium at gunpoint and beat him up mercilessly. In his application before the Court, Suhsil Kumar had sought special diet including special foods and health supplements containing protein, Omega-3 capsules, pre-workout C4, Hyde, Multivitamin GNC, exercise bands etc. in the plea on account of the fact that he is a renowned wrestler and the supplements and special foods are required to maintain his physical strength and physique.
The Delhi Police had registered an FIR under sec. 302 (punishment for murder) and sec. 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide), 365, 325, 323, 341,506, 188, 269, 34 and 120B of IPC along with sec. 25, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act.
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Satvir Singh Lamba passed the order after reserving it in view of the submissions made by Advocate Pradeep Rana appearing on behalf of Sushil Kumar and Public Prosecutor Shrawan Kumar appearing for the State.
Satvir Singh Lamba, Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Rohini Courts said that all the basic needs and necessities of Sushil Kumar are being taken care of as per the provisions of Delhi Prisons Rule, 2018, and no special privilege could be given to him.
“Right to equality is a basic feature of Indian Constitution. It implies the rule of law. It also implies absence of any special privilege in any person due to his rank, status, whether rich or poor, etc. The law should be equal and should be equally administered, that like should be treated alike…..The alleged special foods and supplements appears to be only the desires and wishes of the accused/applicant and are not in any manner the essential need or necessity for the accused/applicant. Hence, the prayer of the accused/applicant in the present application is not maintainable,” the Court said.
The State opposed the application on the ground that allowing the same would amount to discrimination against other prisoners lodged in the prison. The State said that the requirement of a prisoner shall not be decided on his previous lifestyle and the facilities but as per the Delhi Prisons Rules, 2018.
While answering questions as to “What is the need to provide special treatment to an accused of heinous organized crime? What is the basis of special food?” in negative, it was said that under Article 14 of the Constitution, equality before law is the same.
He further submitted that “As per the reply of the Jail Superintendent, many of the prisoners are who are competent to demand such foods are not being allowed the same. Allowing the application to him will create a discriminatory atmosphere among all Prisoners.”
The Court also noted that while Sushil Kumar claimed that he wished to pursue his future career in wrestling, there was no mention of any upcoming competition. It was also observed that there was no claim of there being any deficiency in a person’s daily diet, their quantities and the common source of nutrients. Delhi Court had refused to grant anticipatory bail to Kumar in the murder case.