A 27-year-old convict serving an eight-year-term at the Yerawada Central Prison wrote to the Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court, complaining about myriad health problems he suffered from due to obesity. In the letter written on January 21, Atmaram Dengle requested the court to grant him a 90-day parole so that he could undergo weight reduction surgery.
Dengle was arrested for being part of the infamous Ahmednagar sex scandal that eventually led to the arrest of 20 politically influential people in April 2012, who were convicted for raping a minor. The division bench of Justices N H Patil and A R Joshi yesterday asked for Dengle’s medical report from the prison Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and appointed a lawyer for him. Dengle wrote: “I suffer from a serious health disease, obesity. Presently, my weight is 145 kg and is growing day-by-day. In the result, I am unable to do my daily course (sic).”
The letter also highlighted the host of ailments Dengle suffered from, including asthma, breathlessness, blood clots, coagulation, high blood pressure and fluctuating sugar level. “They all cause untimely danger to my life… appropriate operative surgery is suggested to control and reduce my weight and corpulence (sic),” Dengle wrote. In his letter, Dengle also mentioned that prison CMO had stated that the treatment he was seeking was not offered by any of the state-run hospitals, and therefore he should get admitted to either Lilavati Hospital in Bandra or Ruby Hall Hospital in Pune city.
A trial court initially sentenced Dengle, along with others, to life imprisonment on August 20, 2010. Later, the Aurangabad Bench of the Bombay High Court commuted his sentence to eight years on September 6, 2012. All the 20 accused were charged for abducting and raping a minor girl after luring her with money. The victim was raped at various lodges in Ahmednagar, Shirdi, Nimgaon Jali and Dhule.
The case was exposed by Childline-Snehalaya in Ahmednagar, whose members convinced the victim to file a complaint at the Topkhana police station. Since several local politicians and influential traders were allegedly involved in the case, it was handed over to the state CID. The CID teams, led by the then deputy superintendents of police Pushpa Deshmukh and Sushma Chavan investigated the matter and submitted a charge sheet.