Stating that the applicant, a doctor, exploited the family of a COVID patient when they were running pillar to post for a bed, a sessions court early this month rejected the relief of pre-arrest bail to the 28-year-old.
Additional sessions judge B V Wagh said a survey of the investigation papers suggested the well-discriminable role of the applicant in extracting money by making false representation in the hour of need. “He exploited the patient when they were running from pillar to post to avail bed facility for treatment,” the court said, adding the applicant being a doctor has cashed in on the moment in the lure of illegal enrichment in the pandemic.
The complainant, Shraddha Sawant, and her relatives were looking for a bed for her father whose condition had deteriorated in April, when the second wave was at its peak. They had already visited three hospitals in search of a bed. At Sai Hospital in Antop Hill, they met Dr. Abdul Gaffar Khan. As per the complaint, he allegedly promised to arrange for a bed at Global Hospital in Thane. He asked them to arrange for Rs 1 lakh. They promptly made a payment of Rs 10,000 to him through PayTM and then made the remaining payment of Rs 90,000 after reaching the hospital. It is then that they realized that the hospital was a government one and that Covid treatment there was free. Eventually, they lodged a complaint of cheating.
In strong observations, judge Wagh called the offence as one against the society, where a few can knock on the doors of justice and most do not reach. “A common person poses their faith on a medical practitioner and in the hour of need they pay any amount by raising loans,” the court said. It added that when Covid treatment is free in government hospitals where the complainant’s father
was admitted, still the applicant asked the patient to pay money.
Meanwhile, in his plea, the doctor had claimed that he was falsely implicated. Opposing the relief, the Antop Hill police told the court that there was evidence of bank transactions that show that he had accepted the amount.