A day after they were arrested for their alleged negligence that led to the fire at Rajkot’s Uday Shivanand Covid Hospital, the chairman and two directors of the company which runs the hospital were granted bail by a local court on Tuesday. Five Covid-19 patients had been killed in the November 27 fire.
Dr Prakash Modha and Dr Tejas Karamta are on the board of directors of Gokul Life Care Private Limited (GLCPL). On September 15, the GLCPL opened the Uday Shivanand Covid Hopsital in one part of the three-storey building of Shivanand Mission General and Multi Specialty Hospital.
On Tuesday, a day after their arrest, police produced Modha, his son Dr Vishal Modha and Karamta in the court of additional senior civil judge L D Wagh.
“We pleaded to grant us custody of the accused for five days as we wanted to interrogate them about the reason behind choosing the building belonging to Shivanand Mission for setting up the Uday Covid Hospital and related matters. However, the court did not grant our application,” Manoharsinh Jadeja, Deputy Commissioner of Police (zone-II) of Rajkot city, who is heading the SIT of the police probing the fire incident, told The Indian Express.
Modha’s advocate said the police had no grounds to seek the custody of his three clients. “The alleged case against them has been registered under IPC section 304A, which is a bailable offence, hence police application seeking remand was not maintainable… the police contention that investigation would not progress without their custodial interrogation was also not maintainable. Therefore, the court first rejected the police application seeking their custody and then granted our plea for bail,” the lawyer said.
Modha’s wifeChandrikaben, Utapal Modha, Dr Motivaras and Dr Digvijaysinh Jadeja are also directors in the GLCPL and the SIT chief said that they were investigating if they had any role in the functioning of the hospital.
However, the SIT chief said that the cause of the fire was still under investigation. “We will be in a position to comment about the source of the fire only after reports of Forensic Science Laboratory and electrical inspectors are received,” said Jadeja.