Photo by BL SONI
Photo by BL SONI

Mumbai: The doctors at JJ Hospital are convinced that former media magnate Indrani Mukerjea, who is an inmate at Byculla jail in the Sheena Bora murder case, had a drug overdose, which led to her being wheeled into the hospital at 11:15pm on Friday night in a ‘delirious condition’.

But there are no clear answers how she laid hands on more pills than is her entitlement. Among the pills prescribed for her by the jail doctors are sedatives. Sources said if the intake of tablets is not under supervision, an inmate can ‘hoard’ the pills so that he or she can take a more than prescribed dosage when it suits that person. If the medicine happens to be a sedative, then it can become a toxic over dose.

“The circumstances under which an overdose might have taken place have to be investigated by the police,” said Dr Sudhir Nanandkar, Dean of the JJ Hospital. The prison authorities were more than spooked in 2015, too, when Mukerjea, who has been on anti-depressant drugs, was first admitted to the hospital for drug overdose. In view of the first incident, the prison authorities should have been extremely wary of her this time. Possibly, it is practically difficult for the understaffed prison department to ensure that all inmates consume prescribed pills under supervision, but special care should have been taken in Indrani’s case. She is not just on trial for murder of her daughter but is also a key witness in the ED case  against Karti Chidambaram.

It is understood that medicines are given on the prescribed time, as suggested by the doctors; a jail nurse/compounder does not personally monitor each inmate. ‘‘So, it becomes difficult to ascertain whether the inmates are strictly adhering to the doctor’s instructions or not. The only other possibility – which is rather remote — is that Mukerjea might have consumed something inside court premises, where she was taken for hearing in the case on Friday.

Senior doctors said Mukerjea is communicating well and her blood pressure and respiratory rates are normal. After the MRI test, the doctors have ruled out a neurological problem. “Usually the police guard is assigned the task of giving medicines as per the doctor’s instructions; but in this case we suspect it was a case of an overdose,  as per the clinical analysis report,” said Dr Wiqar Shaikh, Professor of medicines at JJ Hospital.

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Free Press Journal