More than a month has passed, but the Mulund police are yet to arrest any of the six accused named in the first information report (FIR) filed against Jeevan Jyot trust which runs the BMC-owned MT Agarwal Hospital.
Premised on the alleged posting of underqualified doctors at the hospital and death of 149 patients in nine months, the FIR has been filed under serious non-bailable sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 416 (cheating by personation), 465 (forgery), 117 (abetting commission of offence by the public or by more than ten persons), 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code as well as the Maharashtra Medical Practitioners Act. The accused have been identified as Dr Bijendra Yadav, Jyoti Thakkar, JC Vakil, Ratanlal Jain, Deepak Jain and Deepti Mehta.
Some accused are missing, says Police
According to the police, some of the accused are missing while the remaining are “cooperating” with the investigation. A “technical investigation” is underway and notices have been sent to the accused, asking them to cooperate, they assert. The FPJ got no answers when the cops were asked why there was not a single arrest in the case despite serious charges. As per sources, some of the accused are trying for anticipatory bail.
Earlier last week, three people – Chandrasekhar Bhularam Yadav, 32, Surekha Chavan, 34 and Sushant Ramchandra Jadhav – were arrested for forging documents and issuing bogus death certificates for patients. However, the trio was not named in the FIR. Except Chavan, both Yadav and Jadhav posed as doctors at the hospital’s ICU. Chavan is known to be a coordinator, who issued bogus death certificates. In a recent update, Yadav and Jadhav have applied for anticipatory bail application at the court after they were released on bail. Whereas Chavan denies any involvement in the case.
149 deaths recorded at the hospital’s ICU from February 17 to November 22, 2018
The FIR was registered by one Goldy Sharma who lost his brother on June 4, 2019, while the latter was undergoing treatment in the ICU. Reply to Sharma's query filed under the Right to Information Act revealed that almost 149 deaths were recorded at the hospital’s ICU from February 17 to November 22, 2018. According to the complainant, the cause of death mentioned in all the death certificates was heart attacks, which raised his suspicion. He further alleged that the trust appointed doctors without required degrees.
The FPJ spoke to a health official earlier about the matter, who said, “The ICUs get critical patients so the figure, if we go by usual statistics in ICU units, is not alarming. Certain times it’s more than 149.” The official added, “We do not have the mechanism to authenticate the qualification certificates (submitted by doctors). So if they are fake, we may not realise it.”