The state government and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) faced the ire of the Bombay high court on Monday, which was hearing a petition filed by Pune-based businessman Hasan Ali Khan, accused of money laundering and tax evasion.
Khan had filed a petition seeking immediate medical attention for ailments such as diabetes, liver cirrhosis and kidney problems, which he claimed to be suffering from.
The high court rapped the state government and the agency for their purported callous approach towards his health concerns. “Isn’t it the ED’s responsibility to assure that Khan is kept in good health?” asked a division bench of justice BH Marlapalle and justice UD Salvi.
“The agency might require him later for investigations,” the bench said, further adding, “We need to see to it that he is healthy.”
Khan was taken to the state-run JJ Hospital last week following HC’s directive. But, JJ hospital on Monday filed a report before the court certifying that Khan’s condition was stable and he did not require hospitalisation.
Khan’s lawyer IA Bagaria, however, pointed out that another state-run hospital in city, St George Hospital had submitted a contrary report, stating that the Pune businessman needed urgent treatment. Khan was taken to St George Hospital by the agency while he was still in their custody, Bagaria said.
The court has now directed prison superintendent of Arthur Road jail, where he is currently lodged, to take him to St George Hospital for medical check-up on Tuesday. The court has directed the hospital authorities to ensure all medical tests are carried out and he may be hospitalised, if required.
Meanwhile, while hearing another petition filed by advocate Bagaria challenging ED’s action of sending public prosecutors to special courts for representing the agency without required notification, the court directed the agency to file its reply to the petition within two weeks.
According to the lawyer, special laws like Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) require the Central government to issue a notification declaring appointment of public prosecutors and special public prosecutors, but un-notified lawyers are appearing in special courts where trial of offences under the PMLA is underway.
After hearing arguments advanced by Bagaria, the high court restrained one of the prosecutors, who represented the agency in Khan case, from appearing in the case until further orders.