Two days after assigning a judicial probe into the fire incident at the intensive care unit (ICU) of a private Covid-19 hospital in Rajkot that claimed five lives to Justice (retired) KA Puj of the Gujarat High Court, the state government on Monday appointed an inquiry commission with Justice (retired) DA Mehta of the high court as chairman.
An official release from the government quoted Minister of State for Home, Pradipsinh Jadeja, as saying that the decision to replace Justice Puj was taken as he is occupied by another judicial probe.
“The state government is sensitive towards the incident of fire in the hospital run by Uday Shivanand Ashram in Rajkot. The state government has decided to appoint an enquiry commission under the chairmanship of Justice (retired) DA Mehta of the Gujarat High Court. This commission will now conduct a detailed inquiry into the incident (sic),” the release quoted Jadeja as saying.
“Chief Minister Vijay Rupani had earlier announced to appoint a commission headed by Justice Puj… However, Justice Puj is occupied with another judicial inquiry. Due to Justice Puj being occupied and being short of time, an announcement has been made to appoint a commission under chairmanship of Justice (retired) DA Mehta so that an enquiry into this incident is conducted immediately… (sic),” the release added.
Justice Puj is also heading the commission probing the fire incident in the ICU of Shrey Hospital in Ahmedabad on August 7 that led to the death of eight patients. The minister further said that Justice Mehta Commission would submit its report within three months.
The fire that broke out in the ICU of Uday Shivanand Covid Hospital near Anand Bungalow Chowk in Mavdi area of Rajkot on November 27 left five patients dead and six others injured.
Rupani had announced a probe by additional chief secretary AK Rakesh and a judicial inquiry by Justice Puj. Meanwhile, Rajkot city police commissioner Manoj Agarwal also formed a three-member special investigation team (SIT) headed by Manoharsinh Jadeja, deputy commissioner of police (zone-II).
After alleged violations of fire-safety norms were found at the hospital, Malaviynagar police on Sunday booked Dr Prakash Modha, chairman of Gokul Life Care Private Limited (GLCPL) thar runs Uday hospital, his son Vishal Modha, and three others — Dr Tejas Karamta, Dr Tejas Motivaras and Dr Digvij-aysinh Jadeja — under IPC Sect-ions 304A(causing deaths by negligence) and 114 (common intent).
According to police, Vishal Modha was involved in getting approvals for the Covid hospital from the Rajkot Municipal Corpo-ration, while Dr Karamta, Dr Mot-ivaras and Dr Jadeja were involv-ed in the operations of the hospital.
According to police, the exact reason of the fire is still under investigation.
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