Medical board to decide on Arvind Kejriwal’s diabetes medication | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Medical board to decide on Arvind Kejriwal’s diabetes medication

By, New Delhi
Apr 23, 2024 04:28 AM IST

Delhi court orders AIIMS to set up medical board to determine if Chief Minister Kejriwal needs insulin; court emphasizes equality in treatment.

A local court on Monday ordered the director of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi to set up a medical board to determine whether chief minister Arvind Kejriwal needs insulin to control his sugar levels and consider his other medical issues.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal (AFP)
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal (AFP)

Special judge Kaveri Baweja, who turned down Kejriwal’s request to consult with his private doctor via video conference, mandated that Tihar jail authorities continue providing the chief minister the medical care necessary. However, the court directed that in instances requiring specialised consultation, the jail authorities must seek guidance from the newly constituted medical board at AIIMS comprising a senior endocrinologist.

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Kejriwal’s health and his alleged ill-treatment in prison have been at the heart of a tussle between the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) since the chief minister’s arrest on March 21. He was sent on April 1 to Tihar, where he is allowed home-cooked food in accordance with a diet prescribed by his doctors.

Also Read | ‘I asked for insulin everyday’: Kejriwal on Tihar jail's 'false' statements

Adding a fresh twist to the legal saga, Kejriwal approached Delhi’s Rouse Avenue court last week seeking directions that Tihar authorities administer him insulin and allow daily medical consultation for 15 minutes through video conference due to fluctuations in his blood sugar levels.

ED claimed in response that the CM was eating mangoes and sweets and drinking tea with sugar “to create a medical emergency to obtain sympathetic treatment from the court”. The AAP convener hit back at these charges, with his legal team accusing prison authorities and ED of depriving him of medication and of lying to the court that he was deliberately eating high-sugar foods to exacerbate his diabetes.

Acknowledging Kejriwal’s health concerns, the court on Monday directed AIIMS to promptly submit a report addressing the necessity of insulin administration, while clarifying “insulin cannot be administered to a person suffering from Hyperglycemia only on the basis of his request”. Additionally, the medical board is tasked with prescribing a tailored diet and exercise regimen for Kejriwal, while ensuring adherence to the board’s directives regarding his home-cooked meals.

Also Read | HC dismisses plea for Kejriwal’s ‘extraordinary’ interim bail, slaps 75k fine

Emphasising equality under the law, the court underscored that Kejriwal should not be treated differently from other inmates. “This court also finds itself in agreement with the submissions that the applicant cannot be treated differently from other inmates as laws/Jail Manual must apply equally to all. The request for private treatment can only be permitted if the Jail Authorities are unable to provide the requisite medical facilities to the applicant,” the court order said.

In his application, Kejriwal cited his long-standing battle with diabetes, stressed the urgency of insulin administration, and detailed the challenges he faces in maintaining his health regimen while in custody.

This latest skirmish adds to Kejriwal’s ongoing legal saga, in which he stands accused in connection with irregularities in the Delhi excise case. The investigation, initiated in July 2022, implicated Kejriwal and other AAP leaders in alleged kickback schemes under the now-defunct Delhi excise policy.

The case has embroiled several high-profile names, including former Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia and Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) legislator K Kavitha, who are presently incarcerated in the Capital’s Tihar jail. AAP MP Sanjay Singh was also arrested last year and released on bail earlier this month after the top court asked ED why he should be kept behind bars after serving six months in jail, considering that there doesn’t appear to be any concrete evidence against him, and no money has been recovered linking him to the alleged money laundering offence. Another AAP lawmaker and former Delhi minister, Satyendar Jain, is also in Tihar jail under charges of money laundering in a separate case.

The Delhi excise case, which pertains to accusations of corruption, money laundering, and irregularities in the formulation and implementation of the excise policy, has seen the ED taking a stringent stance against the accused.

Kejriwal was arrested on March 21 by ED, hours after the Delhi high court denied his request for interim protection from arrest — a startling turn of events that left the Capital’s politics in turmoil and pushed to new heights the ongoing conflict between the Union government and the AAP.

On April 9, the Delhi high court rejected Kejriwal’s petition to release him from jail, noting that ED has sufficient evidence “at this stage which points out towards the guilt” of the CM for the commission of the offence of money laundering in relation to the case. The high court had further said that Kejriwal cannot be allowed to take the plea of political vengeance ahead of the Lok Sabha elections after choosing to skip nine ED summonses issued to him over the last six months even though the law does not allow any special privilege to a CM or any other person in power. According to the high court, ED cannot be blamed for choosing the timing of Kejriwal’s arrest after the CM pushed the agency to a point where it had no other option but to arrest him. Kejriwal has challenged this order in the Supreme Court, which on April 15 issued notice on his petition. The top court is expected to hear the case next on April 29.

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