Court rejects CBI plea to form board of naval doctors to check health of Pune businessman
A SPECIAL court on Wednesday rejected an application filed by CBI seeking the formation of a medical board comprising doctors from a naval hospital to verify the health status of Pune-based businessman Avinash Bhosale. The court stated that there were no grounds to disbelieve a report submitted by the state-run J J Hospital on his health condition.
The court also directed J J Hospital to undertake all proposed tests on Bhosale within three days and discharge him immediately and shift him back to the jail “at the risk of CBI”. Bhosale was arrested in the DHFL case by both the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
The court said that since the CBI had made allegations about Bhosale’s hospital stay and his treatment by the hospital, it shall carry the risk of his discharge from the hospital.
The CBI had filed an intervention application before the special court, which had given directions to the Dean of J J Hospital to submit its report on Bhosale’s health status as it took notice that he had been in the hospital since October. Even as the Dean formed a medical board and a medical report on Bhosale was submitted on January 19, the CBI said that it wanted Bhosale to be examined by an independent board of doctors, suggesting names of four doctors from the Indian Navy’s Hospital in the city. On Friday, the Dean’s report said that Bhosale had a fall in the bathroom last Wednesday and further hospitalisation would be in his best interest.
“This opinion given by the medical board cannot be in a straightforward way discarded and disbelieved only on the bare allegations made by the CBI that he was admitted for no reason and there is doubt in such admission of the accused… Prima facie there is nothing to point out any contrary to the said report of the Medical Board except bare allegations made by CBI,” special judge M G Deshpande said in his order.
The court said that while the CBI was given access to the Dean and the medical reports of Bhosale, it had not approached or sought any medical opinion from experts to determine whether there was any manipulation, or the report was ‘contrary to medical science’.
“Neither the CBI nor the court is an expert. The treatment papers prima facie indicate a chronic illness of the accused and continuous treatment given to him for the same,” the court said.
The court also said that J J Hospital was an old and renowned institution. “Discarding the medical opinion given by the senior members of the medical board and accepting bald and bare allegations made by the CBI, will amount to a premature jumping conclusion, that too in absence of any sound contrary opinion of the doctors in the same field,” it added stating that abruptly disbelieving treatment being given to Bhosale would harm its credibility and reputation.
It also said that the CBI’s contention that Bhosale was not on a ventilator or in a coma and opinion was needed if his hospitalisation could continue in jail hospital was not justified as a person may appear fit but may be suffering from a serious health issue.