Former Maharashtra deputy chief minister Chhagan Bhujbal, arrested in connection with an alleged money laundering case, on Friday sought bail from the Bombay high court on medical grounds. Bhujbal said that he was suffering from a “terminal illness.”
Bhujbal’s counsel Amit Desai told the Bombay high court that Bhujbal underwent an angioplasty in 2003 and since then, his cardiac health has not been normal. Considering his old age, his enlarged cardiac enzymes, and a list of other ailments, Bhujbal remains in a “high risk zone,” he said.
Desai said that the jail authorities and the court cannot ignore the situation.
Desai also raised questions on the veracity of the medical boards’ report based on which St George hospital had declared him “clinically stable”.
Desai said that this report, based on the opinions of nine doctors from JJ Hospital after tests were conducted on Bhujbal, seemed fabricated.
Desai said the medical tests on Bhujbal had been conducted in May this year, while the report was dated August 28, 2008.
“Besides, while the rest of the report has been typed out on a computer, the patient’s name on it is written by hand. The date of birth on the report is also wrong. Does this mean that the hospital tried to pass off the report of another physically-fit person as that of Bhujbal?” Desai asked.
He also read out a list of other chronic ailments that Bhujbal allegedly suffers from, including diabetes, enlarged prostate, sleep apnea and high blood pressure.
Desai also cited the case of businessman Hasan Ali who has been accused in another money laundering case.
He argued that even though the Enforcement Directorate had accused Ali of laundering much more money than Bhujbal, Ali was granted bail in January this year on medical grounds.
He said that if granted bail, Bhujbal will go to Hinduja Hospital to get himself checked and treated by doctors of his choice.
“Just the fact that I am an accused and that a government hospital has declared me clinically fit does not suspend my constitutional right to life and thus, my right to challenge the hospital report and instead choose to get treated by a doctor of my choice,” Desai argued. HC is likely to take up the matter for further hearing on Thursday.