A special court today held state-run JJ Hospital dean Dr T P Lahane guilty of contempt on a plea by activist Anjali Damania claiming NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal, accused in a money laundering case, was allowed to overstay at a private hospital in a “negligence of duty”.
Watch what else is in the news
Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court Judge P R Bhavke referred the matter to the Bombay High Court for further action.
“Application (of Damania) is allowed and the Dean is held guilty for the contempt of court. Reference shall be made to the Bombay HC to take further action,” the judge said, adding the dean is guilty of both the civil and criminal contempt.
Damania had approached the PMLA court last month, contending that Bhujbal continued to stay put at Bombay Hospital since November 2 due to the “negligence of duty” by the authorities of JJ Hospital and Arthur Road jail, where he was lodged before being shifted to the hospital.
Bhujbal had checked in in Bombay Hospital for a thallium scan. Damania had also alleged the NCP leader was “misusing” a court order. The court had on December 14 last year ordered that Bhujbal be shifted to Arthur Road jail on a plea by the prison officials that he had refused to undergo angiography. His stay at the private hospital had prompted accusation that he was receiving preferential treatment.
Damania had alleged several politicians met Bhujbal during his stay in Bombay Hospital without the court’s permission. She contended that the former deputy chief minister could enjoy treatment at Bombay Hospital due to “sheer negligence of duty by authorities at JJ Hospital and Arthur Road jail”.
Seeking dismissal of Damania’s plea, Bhujbal had questioned her locus standi on filing such application which he said was aimed at “derailing the main purpose” (health issues for which he was hospitalised) and that she was maligning his image.
Earlier this week, the special court had directed the jail officials to take Bhujbal to JJ Hospital for angiography after getting his consent. Bhujbal was arrested on March 14 last year by ED on the charges of bribery and money laundering in the construction of Maharashtra Sadan building in Delhi.
He was booked by ACB for allegedly receiving kickbacks in award of contract for constructing state central library building on Mumbai University’s campus at Kalina, during his stint as PWD minister in the previous Congress-NCP government.