HC notice to ailing Koda and Co.
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- Published 20.12.11
Ranchi, Dec. 19: Former chief minister Madhu Koda and his cabinet colleagues Kamlesh Singh and Bhanu Pratap Shahi today invited the ire of Jharkhand High Court, which hauled them up for allegedly faking illness to avoid being incarcerated in Birsa Munda Central Jail.
The court issued notices to the three and businessman Vijay Joshi, who is charged with money laundering along with Koda and company. Also on the receiving end of court notices were the inspector general (prisons) and RIMS director Tulsi Mahto, who was asked to explain the need and line of treatment meted out to undertrial VIP prisoners in the VIP cottages of RIMS.
A bench of Justices R.K. Merathia and D.N. Upadhaya also ordered constitution of a five-member medical board comprising three doctors from the armed forces and two from RIMS to examine the undertrials in question.
The bench while hearing a petition filed by Durga Oraon, which mentions a report published in a local daily exposing Joshi’s “fake” admission, said the medical board will examine the prisoners and ascertain their exact condition and whether they required treatment in a hospital outside jail.
The bench also observed that the act of getting admitted in hospital soon after arrest was common among influential prisoners. This practice should be deprecated and strong action should be taken against the perpetrators, the court said. The case will again be taken up for hearing on January 10.
Oraon in his petition had sought a CBI inquiry into the genuineness of Koda and Company’s claims of illness.
Koda, in custody since November 30, 2009, has been treated earlier in RIMS and Apollo Hospital for urinary tract infection, chest pain and cervical spondylosis.
At present, he is recovering from an elbow fracture he suffered in a brawl inside the jail.
Shahi has been a jailbird since August 6 this year and is recovering from cervical pain and neck bone dislocation.
Kamlesh Singh is behind bars since December 1, 2009, and is in RIMS since November 15, 2010. He is said to be suffering from hypertension and hip pain. The RIMS medical board had referred both Shahi and Singh to AIIMS, Delhi, for specialised treatment.
Joshi, on the other hand, has been diagnosed with a clot in his brain and is epileptic. He is in custody since early this year.
The absence of VIP prisoners from their respective wards made headlines last week when it was mentioned that Joshi, who has been admitted in the ICU, is only present when the doctors are on rounds.
He is not there in the nights and no one is aware of his whereabouts, Oraon said.
He also questioned the role of the jail authorities and doctors of RIMS who have allegedly connived to ensure that high-profile prisoners stay in RIMS and do not have to go to jail.