Drug lord Lhukhosei Zou trial to continue amidst lockdown

Medical reports contrasts as gall stone size differs in two different reports, summons JNIMS doctor

Special judge of Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (ND & PS) court, Aribam Noutuneshwari has summoned one Dr Varneikhup Chiru, senior resident surgeon of JNIMS for examination regarding the high profile case of drug kingpin Lhukhosei Zou, he is to appear before the court on May 21.

The judge in the past bail hearing plea to release Lhukhosei Zou on May 15 had asked the state government to submit in a written format whether the medical treatment of Zou can be provided by the jail authorities. The response had come from the concerned ADGP( Prisons) P Doungel and the written reply was read out by additional public prosecutor Unision Dwidang in court on Monday. The letter read ‘the proper treatment of sick prisoner is the responsibility of the jail authorities and government. The health condition of the under trial prisoner is carefully monitored by the medical officer of Manipur Central jail, Sajiwa.” It added that Lhukhosei  Zou will be taken to the government hospital for examination by specialist and when needed by the jail doctors on their recommendation.

The defense counsel of Zou argued that the priority of his client is his health condition and as per the last letter of health status from the jail authorities. Zou was to be referred for special treatment outside the jail or state as required for his gall stone problem. He submitted to the judge that the last medical report taken on April 20 at JNIMS had diagnosed the size of the gall stone as 17 mm, he also added that the latest report taken at a private clinic (Bonny Ultracare) on May 15 has diagnosed the size as 14.6 mm. The defence counsel prayed that his client’s health condition is serious and as the trial is taking its natural course, the bail may be granted by the court.

In the bail rejection submission by the prosecutor Dwidang, he drew the attention of the judge stating that Zou was already released on bail following medical grounds in 2018. But after his treatment, he was allegedly kidnapped by a Kuki based militant outfit. He said that it is for the safety of Lhukhosei Zou that he may be abducted again if released on bail and further his gall stone has diminished from 17mm to 14.6 mm in size, the judge also observed that the longer Zou stays in prison, the size may grow smaller with treatment.

The special judge passed an order following the contradicting health reports to be sought from the JNIMS surgeon to establish the health condition of the drug lord on May 21. Meanwhile in a notification from the registrar general A Guneshwar Sharma, following the present COVID-19 situation arising in the state and the imposed lockdown till May 31, the functioning of the courts should be conducted through video conferencing till further notice. The trial will however is notified by the court to commence on Tuesday amidst the lockdown.

First Published:May 19, 2020, 4:26 p.m.