THE BOMBAY High Court Friday issued a notice to Dr TP Lahane, dean of state-run JJ Hospital, asking him why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against him.
The issue relates to a trial court’s ruling against Lahane for the extended stay of graft-accused NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal at a private hospital, in violation of the court’s order.
A bench of Justice Ranjit More and Justice Anuja Prabhudessai granted four weeks to Lahane to respond to the notice.
On January 13, Lahane had been held guilty of contempt by the special Prevention of Money Laundering Act court, which had made a reference to the High Court for taking further action against him.
The reference is made as per section 15 of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, for the HC to take action in cases of contempt of a subordinate court.
According to the special court’s order, it had directed Bhujbal to be taken to a private hospital from Arthur Road jail for a Thallium test after it was informed that no government hospital in the city offered the facility. Bhujbal was first taken to JJ Hospital for two other tests in October last year and eventually transferred to the private Bombay Hospital on November 2.
Bhujbal remained in the hospital for over a month, which activist Anjali Damania brought to the notice of the court seeking a show-cause against Lahane and the Superintendent of Arthur Road jail.
The court then ordered for Bhujbal to be transferred back to jail on December 13.
The court had found that despite communication made by jail authorities to Lahane on Bhujbal, no responsibility had been taken by him. Damania had annexed correspondence between the private hospital, JJ Hospital and the jail, submitting it was ‘negligence’.