Keeping in mind the tendency of arrested suspects to try and stay out of jail by getting themselves admitted to hospitals claiming illness,the Civil Surgeon of Thane district has issued a circular laying down strict rules for dealing with such patients. The circular states that accused who are brought to the hospital as patients will not be admitted for the first six hours,and will be under constant observation since then so that they can be discharged as soon as they recover.
The circular,issued recently by Thane district civil surgeon Dr Gauri Rathod,was also marked to the office of the Commissioner of Police,Thane,with a supplementary note saying,In the past,there have been instances of accused being admitted to Thane Civil Hospital. It has been understood that some people work as agents in this racket. The process of admission to the hospital will now be strictly enforced.
The patient should be kept under observation for six hours and all tests should be conducted. It is binding to conduct an ICTC test to check for HIV-AIDS. Other tests such as an ECG should also be conducted and experts concerned should be contacted. The District Civil surgeon or the additional civil surgeon should be contacted immediately, the circular reads.
The circular also says that suspects whose health is found to be normal after six hours observation period should be discharged. If,after this period,there is a need to admit the suspect,he should be admitted to the casualty ward and should be checked regularly.
A committee of experts will then examine the suspect every 24 hours and take a decision on his status. The same committee will take further decisions in case the patient is has to be admitted for more than 72 hours.
While Dr Rathod could not be reached for comment,Thane Police Commissioner K P Raghuvanshi said he had not seen the letter yet.
An officer with the Thane police said the new rules would make a difference for suspects in police custody as well as those in judicial custody.
The period spent in a hospital for whatever ailments does not count in the period of police custody. However,it does serve to prolong the process of interrogation,in turn affecting the speed of the investigation. Meanwhile,those in judicial custody will not be able to escape the rigours of life in jail, said the officer.