THE BOMBAY High Court on Friday directed a special court, set up under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), in Mumbai to hear and decide by August 19 an application filed before it by Housing Development Infrastructure Limited (HDIL) promoter Rakesh Wadhawan, arrested in the multi-crore Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) bank fraud case, seeking permission to be shifted to a private hospital in the city for medical treatment.
The court also directed the government-run JJ Hospital, to furnish his medical records, including case management papers, showing health status and treatment given so far along with the two other hospitals where he was referred to for certain treatment earlier.
Wadhawan (67), who has been lodged in Arthur Road Jail in connection with the fraud case, was shifted to JJ Hospital after he tested positive for Covid-19 in July. He was later admitted to GT Hospital, a dedicated Covid-19 hospital in south Mumbai, before being shifted back to JJ hospital on testing negative for the virus twice.
A division bench of Justices R D Dhanuka and V G Bisht on Friday heard, through video-conference, writ plea of Wadhawan, filed through senior advocate Amit Desai, seeking to be shifted a private hospital in the city, like Nanavati, Lilavati or Criticare, for various medical treatments.
Desai submitted that though Wadhawan had been suffering from various medical ailments, including hypertension, diabetes, pulmonary disorder and lung injury among others, the prison authority has been referring him to government hospitals, but none of his medical records, maintained by the authorities, had been provided to him.
Advocate Hiten S Venegaonkar, appearing for the Enforcement Directorate, submitted that an application for similar relief is pending before the sessions court for disposal, and therefore, the high court should not entertain the present plea.
Additional Public Prosecutor Prajakta Shinde, appearing for the state government, submitted that Wadhawan only required an endoscopy which could be conducted at KEM hospital. “All other parameters of the petitioner are in order and thus the petitioner is not required to be shifted to any private hospital for treatment,” Shinde said.
After hearing submissions, the court directed the state-run JJ Hospital to produce all medical records on or before August 10, showing health status of the petitioner, including treatment given at two other hospitals, where Wadhawan was referred earlier.
Moreover, the bench directed the special court to dispose of “without fail” a pending application made by Wadhawan seeking treatment at a private hospital, on or before August 19, on its merits.
While disposing of the plea, the HC clarified that it had not expressed any view on the merits of the case and all contentions of the parties were kept open.
Wadhawan has been named as an accused by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai Police and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for his alleged involvement in the PMC Bank alleged fraud case. His earlier bail pleas, seeking to be released temporarily citing the Covid-19 pandemic, were rejected by the special court which had observed that the allegations against him were a serious economic offence that had caused losses worth crores.
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