Bombay High Court Asks MEA To Direct Indian High Commissioner In UAE To Verify Comatose Man’s Medical Certificate

Bombay High Court Asks MEA To Direct Indian High Commissioner In UAE To Verify Comatose Man’s Medical Certificate

The HC was hearing a plea filed by the man’s Chennai-based wife urging the court to declare her husband’s legal guardian considering there is no legal provision for assistance/welfare of persons in comatose condition.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Tuesday, January 23, 2024, 12:22 AM IST
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Bombay HC | File photo

The Bombay High Court on Monday asked the Ministry of External Affairs to ask the Indian High Commissioner (IHC) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to verify the medical certificate issued to a man who has been in a coma in a hospital in Abu Dhabi for nearly two years.

The direction was passed by a bench of Justices Girish Kulkarni and Firdosh Pooniwalla after a panel of doctors from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, said his medical condition cannot be assessed through video conference.

“We would have no alternative but to request the Indian High Commissioner for UAE to get certified and affirm the health condition of (man), as recorded in the report of AL Dahannah Hospital, Abu Dhabi, UAE,” said the bench.

HC directed AIIMS doctors to assess man's health in 2023

Earlier, the high court, on December 21 directed AIIMS to form a panel of doctors to assess the man’s health through video conference in consultation with the local government doctors attending him at Abu Dhabi hospital and submit a report.

The HC was hearing a plea filed by the man’s Chennai-based wife urging the court to declare her husband’s legal guardian considering there is no legal provision for assistance/welfare of persons in comatose condition.

After going through the report submitted by AIIMS, the bench said that it was not a “very conclusive report”. It referred to a line that stated that all members were of the view that it is not possible to assess the patient who is in a vegetative through video conference.

The court then said the only way to assess the man’s condition was for the IHC to endorse his condition. It would have to verify the medical certificate issued by the local hospital.

Advocate Kenny Thakkar, appearing for the wife, said it will not be possible for her to go to Abu Dhabi to contact IHC as she is currently in India.

The court then requested the Ministry of External Affairs to forward the copy to the Indian High Commissioner to take appropriate steps to place a report on the man’s medical condition before the HC on the next date of hearing on January 30.

Background of the case

According to the wife’s plea, her husband was taken in an unconscious condition to a hospital in Ruwais on December 8, 2021, where he was diagnosed with brain injury due to hypoglycemia – an abnormally low blood sugar level. Since then, he has remained in a vegetative condition and was shifted to long-term acute care.

She has claimed that her husband was the only earning member in the family and she has to now support their three children, including a minor daughter and her mother-in-law who resides in Thane.

She was refused by two Mumbai-based banks and a depository to allow her to manage his accounts and asked to get a court order. She submitted affidavits by the family giving no-objection to her operating his finances.

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