Tripura HC orders identification parade to spot accused who spat at doctor in Covid-19 centre
Tripura High Court on Thursday ordered for a test parade to identify the person accused of spitting and gurgling water on a woman doctor at a Covid-19 care centre in Agartala.
The HC also asked the investigating officer to record the doctor’s statement and identify the accused in the next 24 hours. The doctor had gone to the centre to admit some patients, including a mother and her newborn baby.
“ ....to record confessional statements of the victim Dr. Sangita Chakraborty and her supporting staff under Section 154(5) of the CrPC within 24 hours, however, at the convenience of the said doctor and her other associates. The investigating officer is further directed to arrange for TI parade, if necessary, to identify the real offenders,” the court said in its order.
A complaint was lodged at New Capital Complex (NCC) police station on July 27 by the Tripura health department about the alleged harassment of the doctor by some patients at the Covid-19 care centre.
The accused were charged with Section 3 of Tripura Medical Service and Protection of Property Damage Act, Section 353 and 323 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 03 of the Epidemic Diseases Act.
Subimal Barman, the officer-in-charge of the NCC police station, said when contacted that four Covid-19 patients suspected to be involved in the incident were shifted to a separate institutional quarantine at Indranagar, few kilometres away from the state capital.
“No one has been arrested yet,” he said.
A Covid-19 patient, who is an additional government advocate, on Thursday sought anticipatory bail in the high court apprehending arrest in connection with the case.
A single bench of justice Arindam Lodh asked the prosecution to submit an updated case diary during the next hearing. “Learned Addl. P.P. is requested to produce the case diary on 05.08.2020 to find out the reasonable apprehension and accusations, if any, against the petitioner,” judge noted in the order.
Justice Lodh said in his order that any offence to hurt sentiments, safety and security of doctors would not be tolerated, saying doctors, paramedics, police personnel are the first line of defence in the country’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
The judge further noted that obstacles were created to treat the Covid-19 patients and the woman doctor and her staff were prevented from performing their duties smoothly and freely.