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A SPECIAL court Thursday permitted senior NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal to undergo medical tests at a private hospital. After the former chief minister spent nearly a month at JJ Hospital, the dean of the state-run facility recommended three tests to diagnose his cardiac ailment.
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On Tuesday, a team of doctors from the civic-run KEM Hospital had to return without conducting the tests, as Bhujbal refused to be checked.
On Thursday, the additional superintendent of Arthur Road jail told the special Prevention of Money Laundering Act court that of the three recommended tests, one cannot be conducted at any government hospital. The three tests are an electrophysiology evaluation, Holter examination and Thallium scan. While KEM hospital has equipment to conduct all three, the jail authorities were informed that the machine for the Thallium scan was not working.
Special Judge PR Bhavake, who had sought a report from the prison department, Thursday asked why Bhujbal had refused to be checked by KEM authorities. The court was informed that the machine brought from the hospital required a patient to be tested for a few hours in a place of rest, which would not have been available in the Arthur Road prison.
Judge Bhavake directed the authorities to find out how long it would take to repair the equipment at KEM. Advocates Sajal Yadav and RV Mokashi, appearing for Bhujbal, objected to the likely delay. “The delay in procedure should not end up deteriorating his condition,” they submitted, insisting on a test to be conducted at a private hospital if no government hospital had the facility. The lawyers said there had been precedents of undertrials, including a bomb blast-accused, being taken to Jaslok Hospital.
After hearing submissions by jail officials and hospital authorities, the court directed that Bhujbal be taken to JJ Hospital for two of the tests and the third be conducted at a private hospital recommended by the JJ dean. The court said its expense would have to be borne by Bhujbal.