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Delhi HC stays transfer order of HIV+ trooper

Posted on Aug 14 2014 | IANS

New Delhi, Aug 14 : In an Independence Day gift to a HIV positive BSF constable who along with his wife and child has been undergoing treatment here, the Delhi High Court has granted his plea to suspend his transfer from Delhi to West Bengal.

A division bench of Justice Kailash Gambhir and Justice Najmi Waziri stayed the central government's decision of July 28 last year, saying transfer at this crucial stage of his treatment would not only lead to serious logistical problems associated with his shifting from Delhi, but also jeopardise their treatment and could even threaten their lives.

"This is indeed a most compelling and unfortunate case. The constable and his family comprising of his wife and a minor child are afflicted with HIV positive," the bench said.

"On the eve of India's Independence Day, when the entire nation is in the mood of celebration of freedom, we are confronted with a case which spells gloom but hopefully not doom of a government servant, who has served the nation in defending its borders, as a constable in the Border Security Force," the court said.

Constable Sunil Kumar in the Border Security Force (BSF) is afflicted by HIV positive. His wife too was detected with AIDS in the year 2009. He was transferred from Tripura to Delhi on medical grounds.

After his transfer to Delhi, he was shocked to find that his minor child was also HIV positive.

The hospital advised Kumar to stay back in Delhi for the next six months for his follow-up treatment. Kumar and his wife are undergoing their treatment at RML Hospital, while his child was being treated at Kalawati Saran Hospital.

The court directed that treatment of Kumar and his family shall continue in Delhi while staying the transfer order.

The court said that the affliction of HIV positive carries with it an "unwarranted stigma and social ostracisation", therefore, the government should not only to counter such unwarranted stigma and prejudice but also to fund research for the better cure.

"The need is immediate," the bench said.

"A human life is paramount. Such cases deserve to be considered with due care, compassion and an appreciation of all the facts relating to it."

"The state is expected not only to safeguard human life but also to provide best medical care to its countless citizens suffering from such afflictions, albeit within its financial means. The case of the petitioner (Kumar) is a prime example in which his family treatment should not be disturbed," the bench said in a recent order.

Kumar's plea said that even in these trying circumstances he has been transferred to 102 Battalion at Baikunthpur, West Bengal and if he is made to join the post then the family's treatment will get adversely affected.

The plea also said that the transfer order of Centre (BSF) was passed in the most arbitrary manner without taking into consideration the relevant facts.

The court also issued notice to central government and sought its response on the matter.

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