PMC Bank case: Doctors from pvt hospitals can assess Rakesh Wadhawan’s condition at KEM
The Bombay high court (HC) has permitted expert doctors from private hospitals to assess the health condition of Rakesh Wadhawan at King Edward Memorial (KEM) Hospital. Wadhawan, a promoter of Housing Development Infrastructure Limited (HDIL), has been arrested on money laundering charges in the multi-crore Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank Ltd fraud case.
The single judge bench of justice Bharati Dangre, while hearing Wadhawan’s bail application on medical grounds, was informed by his counsels that he was seriously ill and needed immediate care for heart and pulmonary ailments. They submitted a list of specialist doctors who could examine Wadhawan, who has been admitted in KEM Hospital since September 1.
In the hearing on August 27, the prison authorities had informed the bench that Wadhawan was being referred to KEM Hospital whenever required for cardiac treatment as the prison hospital. The court had directed the medical superintendent of the prison to submit a report of Wadhawan’s health and medical condition.
On September 9, after the medical report furnished to the court stated that Wadhawan was shifted to KEM Hospital on September 1, HC had sought a report from the hospital.
On Friday, senior advocate Aabad Ponda for Wadhawan said owing to his client’s serious condition and the fact that even KEM Hospital did not have sufficient facilities to treat him, doctors from private hospitals should be allowed to check on the accused. Ponda also submitted a list of doctors and sought directions to allow them to examine Wadhawan, who also needed a pacemaker.
Additional public prosecutor Prajakta Shinde for the prison authorities submitted that a report of KEM Hospital’s dean stated that while the hospital had the facilities required, a decision on further course of action could be taken after further consultation.
However, advocate Hiten Venegaonkar for the Enforcement Directorate (ED) submitted that Wadhawan was already admitted in the medical intensive care unit of the hospital and was being treated by expert doctors, including pulmonologist, nephrologist and cardiologist, and was under constant medical care.
After hearing the submissions, the bench noted that though Wadhawan was getting medical attention, specialist doctors from private hospitals as per the list submitted by Wadhawan’s counsel can be permitted to examine him at KEM Hospital.
The court sought a further medical report and posted hearing of the application to September 24.
Wadhawan has been named as an accused by the economic offences wing (EOW) of the Mumbai Police and ED for his alleged involvement in the PMC Bank case. His earlier bail applications, seeking temporary release due to Covid-19 pandemic, were rejected by the special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court, which had observed that the allegations against him were of a serious economic offence that had caused losses worth crores of rupees. Thereafter, Wadhawan had approached HC.