Cancer-patient moves SC for last wish to ‘die in mother’s lap’

New Delhi: A cancer patient lodged in a Rajasthan jail moved the Supreme Court on Tuesday seeking bail to fulfil his last wish of wanting to “die in the lap of his mother.”

Aasu Jaif was arrested in a counterfeit currency case in 2018. In the bail plea, Aasu said he was diagnosed with cancer after the arrest and during the period of incarceration, the oral cancer had consumed his entire body.

He has third stage oral cancer and identifies his mother as a pillar of emotional support. The court has sought a response from the Rajasthan government by next week.

“For past four months, he could not consume food, lost his hair and teeth completely, and his body has deteriorated. He wants to be with his mother and family in the last phase of his life,” V. Elanchezhiyan, counsel for Aasu, contended before the court.

A vacation bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Aniruddha Bose, issuing notice to the state, said: “Report of the present medical condition of the petitioner be obtained from the Birla Cancer Centre/Department, Sawai Man Singh Hospital, Jaipur”.

The petitioner said he needs the emotional support of the family as he is undergoing psychological trauma and stress, and as a consequence his mental health is at risk. The counsel also placed on record a report from the premier cancer hospital which diagnosed cancer.

“The family plays an important role when the patient is found not curable…support from the family plays a significant role. Bail is the rule and jail is an exception. Aasu is getting daily radiotherapy at a hospital in Jaipur.”

Aasu moved the apex court challenging the April 24 Rajasthan High Court order, which declined any relief on his plea seeking interim bail in the case.

“The judge of the high court did not understand the effects of radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment and their repercussions on the whole body…the cancer patient loses hope like the petitioner who has lost hope of living,” said the petition.

The petitioner, who is facing trial and is yet to be convicted, claimed he has been denied the corrective treatment for the disease, and he has been undergoing radiotherapy on a daily basis for the last eight months.

His counsel contended before the court that he may eventually lose his mental balance to comprehend the proceedings in the trial and sought immediate attention from the court on the matter.