Observing that even prisoners have fundamental rights, including the right to life as per the Constitution of India, the Bombay High Court has directed that Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Limited (DHFL) promoter Dheeraj Wadhawan be taken to Kokilaben Ambani Hospital for surgery.
Justice PD Naik, on Friday, set aside the order of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court which had passed an order on March 24 directing the shifting of Wadhawan back to JJ Hospital from Kokilaben Hospital, where he was admitted for over 15 months, observing that he had played fraud on the PMLA court.
Wadhawan had challenged this before the HC saying that he had various ailments and has undergone various surgeries at Kokilaben Hospital, pre and post-arrest. Hence he should be permitted to undergo nasal surgery at a private hospital.
Wadhawan was arrested on April 26, 2020, following the FIR by the CBI concerning defrauding the Yes Bank. Later he was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case which is being tried before the special court hearing cases relating to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Following the PMLA court’s order, he was transferred from KEM hospital to Kokilaben Hospital in November 2020.
“Prisoner is also entitled to fundamental rights as per the Constitution of India. Right to life as per Article 21 of the Constitution also includes right to health,” said justice Naik.
The court had directed that he be taken to Kokilaben Hospital on April 12 for carrying out requisite tests and fixing a schedule of the nasal surgery.
“Petitioner be then admitted in Kokilaben Hospital on the date of surgery. Post-surgery, he may be kept for a period of two weeks,” said HC. Wadhawan has been directed to bear the expenses of the police escort as per earlier court directives.
The court took note of various medical reports submitted by Kokilaben Hospital, JJ Hospital and KEM Hospital where Wadhawan has been admitted on various occasions.
While setting aside the order of the CBI court, the HC noted that the investigating agency had failed to show how Wadhawan had played fraud on the PMLA court, which had directed in November 2020, that he be shifted to Kokilaben Hospital from the KEM hospital where he was admitted.
“Respondent (CBI) has not pointed out as to how such order is obtained by fraud,” said HC.
The court also observed that the “CBI court and PMLA court are two parallel courts where different proceedings are pending.” The CBI had contended that the CBI court was the principal court since he was first arrested in a CBI case. Hence, the PMLA court’s order should have been brought to the notice of the CBI court.
“Proceedings at PMLA arise out of FIR registered by the CBI. In certain situations, there may arise an emergency where the undertrial prisoner may be suffering from some medical emergency and have tj be shifted to a hospital. At such a time, it may not be possible to inform every court for consent where the proceeding date is pending,” said justice Naik in his order.