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HC pulls up police,BMC for inaction in missing baby case

Expressing anger at the authorities for inaction in the case of a missing baby at the Sion Hospital,the Bombay High Court on Monday ordered suspension of the doctor and nurse in-charge of the hospital’s ward.

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai |
January 29, 2009 1:32:59 am

Orders suspensions of doc,nurse; summons Commissioner of Police

Expressing anger at the authorities for inaction in the case of a missing baby at the Sion Hospital,the Bombay High Court on Monday ordered suspension of the doctor and nurse in-charge of the hospital’s ward.

The court also expressed anger at the police for not filing their say and has now directed the Commissioner of Police Hasan Gafoor to be present in court for the next hearing on Wednesday to explain what action has been taken.

Division Bench of Justice Bilal Nazki and Justice Anoop Mohta has also directed the Municipal Commissioner to conduct a full-fledged inquiry and submit a report.

Thirteen days after the baby boy was stolen from the civic-run Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital’s maternity ward,the baby’s parents filed a habeas corpus petition in the high court,after facing dejection from all quarters. In the petition,the baby’s parents — Mohan and Mohini Nerulkar—have sought response from the hospital,state government and the police investigating the matter.

Last week,the court had sought replies from the state and the hospital authorities.

“This is a sorry state of affairs,” said Justice Nazki. “Somebody losing their child is an important matter and we are not going to tolerate it”,the court said. She (the mother) had come to the hospital thinking that she could deliver the child in a healthy and secure environment,the court observed.

Stating that the hospital’s dean ought to have been suspended,the court observed that “neither the hospital nor the police appear to be concerned”.

However,Dean Sandhya Kamath,in her affidavit,has denied that there was any carelessness and lack of management with respect to the hospital’s administration. “The child was handed over by the wife herself to the unknown lady and,therefore,no blame can be placed on the hospital,” the affidavit states.

Petitioner’s advocates,Amit Karkhanis and Ashish Chavan,had pointed out the glaring irregularities and argued on how the woman,who stole the baby,was present in the hospital at 7 am when the visiting hours are between 4 pm to 7 pm. Chavan states that the unknown woman who herself was pregnant had taken the baby from the post-natal ward. “So why didn’t the security stop her?” he asked.

“It is very unfortunate that the doctors are being held up in spite of it not being a clinical case. Also,the nurse was replacing someone else on that day. It is very unfortunate that she is being suspended,” said acting dean Shubha Mohite. “We have not got the order’s copy yet. Future course of action will be decided by the dean,” Mohite added.

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