The Rajkot City police Wednesday arrested two more directors of the Gokul Life Care Private Limited (GLCPL), the parent company of the Uday Shivanand Covid Hospital where a fire on November 27 had left five Covid-19 patients dead and six others injured due to alleged negligence by hospital administration. With this, the number of arrests in the case goes up to five.
The police said Dr Tejas Motivara (42) and Dr Digvijaysinh Jadeja (20), who are on the board of directors of GLPCL and also serve as doctors at the Uday hospital, were formally arrested at 9:45 on Wednesday. Investigating Officer J V Dhola said the duo underwent a Covid-19 test on Tuesday and were arrested today after their test results came out as negative.
“Both the accused are members of the board of directors of GLCPL, the company which had set up the Uday covid hospital. Doctors serving under Dr Motivaras and Dr Jadeja were treating Covid-19 patients in the hospital. The duo has been arrested as, prima facie, there is a case of negligence by the hospital administration,” Dhola told The Indian Express.
On November 27, a fire had broken out in the ICU of the hospital killing five Covid-19 patients, three of them on the spot. Two others had died while being treated in other hospitals of the GLCPL where they had been shifted after the fire. The police investigation has revealed that the emergency exit of the ICU was blocked by the hospital administration and that the hospital staff attempted to douse the fire but failed. The investigation has also revealed that the ICU did not have proper air ventilation system as required by the National Building Code of India, 2016, and that its door was only a metre wide against the requirement of two-metre width.
Malavaiyangar Police had filed a case against Dr Prakash Modha, his son Dr Vishal Modha, Dr Tejas Karamata, Dr Motivaras and Dr Jadeja under IPC Sections 304A (causing deaths by negligence) and 114 (abettor present when crime is committed) on Sunday. Dr Praksh Modha, Dr Vishal and Dr Karamta were arrested by police on Monday but were released on bail the very next day.
A special investigation team (SIT) headed by Manoharsinh Jadeja, deputy commissioner of police (zone-II) of Rajkot city police, is supervising the probe in the fire. Additional chief secretary of Panchayat, Rural Housing and Rural Development Department of Gujarat government, A K Rakesh is also leading a high-level enquiry into the incident. The state government has also appointed a judicial enquiry into the case by Justice (retired) D A Mehta of the Gujarat High Court.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Tuesday raised questions over the Gujarat government’s affidavit in a matter related to incidents of fire at Covid-designated hospitals in Rajkot and Ahmedabad. The court, which had taken suo motu cognisance of Rajkot fire, said “everything is good” according to the state’s response.
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