Bombay HC raps jail authorities for neglecting hospital advice to suspected Maoist operative
The Bombay high court has expressed anguish over the apathetic approach of jail authorities for not acting, for over six months, on Sassoon Hospital’s advice to suspected Maoist activist Kanchan Nanaware to undergo heart and lung transplants.
“The Chief Medical Officer (CMO) must be conscious of the fact that the transplant is advised only as a last resort when there are no other ways of treating the heart ailment,” said justice Bharati Dangre on Friday.
The judge said that medical officers, though of jail, must remember that they are doctors who should care for the health of a patient, even if he or she is a prisoner.
The judge was irked to note that six months had elapsed since the hospital’s advice, but nothing was done as regards the transplants, and only conventional treatment was being provided to Nanaware.
The court has now directed the CMO of Yerwada central prison, where the alleged Maoist operative is lodged, to enquire with the directorate of health services as to where the transplants can be performed and inform the court of the same on September 30.
Nanaware has moved the court for bail on medical grounds. According to her counsel, senior advocate Gayatri Singh, the 36-year-old has already undergone open heart surgery twice and has been advised to undergo further surgeries.
Singh said Nanaware suffered from congenital heart disease and menorrhagia and has been continuously under treatment at Sassoon Hospital at Pune. Singh said she required immediate attention, particularly in the wake of the spread of Covid-19 inside Yerawada prison.
Several offences are registered against Nanaware and her husband Arun Bhelke in Vidarbha region for being Maoist operatives and the couple is accused of working in metro cities like Mumbai and Pune to indoctrinate the urban poor, especially young, unemployed slum dwellers, to join the banned movement.