Former principal of BRD Medical College Rajiv Mishra and his wife Purnima Shukla were on Thursday sent to judicial custody for 14 days by a local court in connection with the deaths of scores of children in the state-run facility.
The doctor couple, arrested on Tuesday by Uttar Pradesh’s Special Task Force (STF), was produced before the court of additional sessions judge Shivanand Singh, who sent them to the Gorakhpur district jail on a 14-day judicial remand. They were named in an FIR lodged by the UP government.
The two were brought to the court here amid tight security.
Mishra was suspended as principal of the medical college on August 12 after the deaths were reported. He resigned the same day owning moral responsibility.
There were allegations that the deaths happened due to disruption in oxygen supply as the vendor had not been paid for several months.
While the Uttar Pradesh government vehemently denied that shortage of oxygen led to the deaths, a high-powered probe committee headed by Chief Secretary Rajive Kumar indicted Mishra and others of laxity and some other charges.
Mishra was accused of sitting over on the issue of payments to the vendor supplying oxygen gas to the hospital.
The doctor couple were booked on the basis of the report submitted to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath by the chief secretary.
Adityanath had formed the committee on August 12, a day after the deaths of children were reported at the hospital. The two doctors were picked up from Kanpur, where they had reportedly gone to consult a lawyer.
The medical college attracted global attention when more than 60 children, mostly infants, died at the hospital within the span of a week earlier this month.
The issue also acquired a political colour with the opposition attacking the government over it.
Following the deaths, cases were registered under various sections of the IPC, Prevention of Corruption Act and the Indian Medical Council Act against Mishra, his wife, Dr Kafeel Khan, Dr Satish, Chief Pharmacist, Gajanan Jaiswal, Accountant Sudhir Pandey, Assistant Clerk, Uday Pratap Sharma of Pushpa Sales and Manish Bhandari.