Delhi High Court: The present petition was filed by the petitioner, who is the sister of Mr. Raghwendra Pratap Singh, an Indian national who has been arrested in Uzbekistan. The stand of the petitioner is that consular access has not been provided to him and his wife is unable to meet him. The petition also seeks an appointment of a lawyer to defend his case in the Uzbekistan courts, and supply him all the official documents relating to his arrest, detention, and investigation, as also documents relating to the licensing, and approvals of the medicine ‘Dok1 Max’, Prathiba M Singh, J., directed the Indian Embassy in Tashkent to ensure that they periodically meet the detainee in order to continuously satisfy themselves as to his physical, mental health provisions for his medical care as also proper legal representation.
Counsel for State submitted that the email dated 05-03-2023 received from Ms. Veena Prabha Tirkey, IFS, Deputy Secretary (Eurasia) as per which, the Indian Embassy in Tashkent has informed the Ministry of External Affairs (‘MEA’) official that efforts were made to obtain consular access to Sh. Raghwendra Pratap Singh which was granted finally by Uzbek authorities on 24-02-2023.
The Court noted that that insofar as the mental and physical condition of the detainee is concerned, the Consular Official of the Indian Embassy have expressed their satisfaction in this regard. The necessary medical checkups and medicines are also stated to be available along with regular food being given to him. The detainee has stated to have visited the Court on two occasions and bail, however, was rejected.
The Court further noted that the detainee had also expressed his satisfaction with the counsel appointed by his company Quramax Medikal LLC. As per the email, the wife of the detainee has also been permitted to meet him on 14-02-2023. The wife of the detainee has also confirmed this position to the Indian Embassy Officials at Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
Thus, because consular access has now been granted to the detainee, the Court directed the Indian Embassy Officials and the officials at the Ministry of External Affairs to ensure that the detainee is provided with legal assistance separately from the company if such a desire is expressed by the detainee.
[Reena Singh v Union of India, 2023 SCC OnLine Del 1413, decided on 06-03-2023]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
Mr. Chirayu Jain, Advocate for the Petitioner;
Mr. Anurag Ahluwalia, CGSC with Mr. Abhigyan Siddhant, G.P. for the State.