Mumbai News: PMLA Court Refuses To Grant Bail To Businessman Abhay Lodha, Raps Jail Authorities For Not Reporting On His Health Condition

Mumbai News: PMLA Court Refuses To Grant Bail To Businessman Abhay Lodha, Raps Jail Authorities For Not Reporting On His Health Condition

The court noted that the CMO's reports never provide a clear picture of the accused's medical health when called upon.

Charul Shah JoshiUpdated: Saturday, April 13, 2024, 11:34 PM IST
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Although the special PMLA court has refused to grant interim bail to Abhay Lodha, 52, promoter of Topworth Steels and Power Pvt Ltd in bank fraud, it reprimanded the jail authorities for not reporting about the serious health condition of Lodha. Having a history of brain hemorrhage, he recently collapsed in the prison. The court has allowed Lodha to get hospitalised for 15 days to get all medical tests done at a private hospital.

Booked for money laundering, he was arrested on August 29 last year for allegedly defrauding IDBI Bank of Rs60.28 crore. He was allowed to get treated at a private hospital for seven days against medical advice. However, on March 27, when he was brought to the court, the special judge noticed his deteriorated condition. On being asked, Lodha revealed that he had a stroke and that time he fell on the floor of the jail. The court later asked the prison and chief medical officer (CMO) to submit a report clarifying why the incident was not brought to notice.

Inadequate Response From Jail Authorities Regarding Medical Treatment, Court Highlights Staffing Issues

In the report, the jail superintendent simply mentioned that the applicant was initially treated in Criti Care Hospital and discharged on March 1. “It is pertinent to note that this report has not responded to the query made by this court,” the special judge observed. The court noted that the CMO admitted the incident and claimed that Lodha was immediately given treatment. However, the medical official apprised the court of his inability to attend the patients immediately, stating that there are only three doctors to look after the inmates. Of them, just one doctor is present at any given time.

Court Concerns Over Jail Medical Facilities And Denial Of Bail Due To Hospitalization Benefits

The court considered the situation, and noted that jail medical facilities available for the prisoners have limitations. It is like a small clinic which cannot meet the urgent needs of a brain haemorrhage patient. The court also observed that, “whenever the court calls the CMO's report, a clear picture of medical health of any accused is never brought to the notice of the court.”

Refusing to grant relief to Lodha, the court reasoned, “If the applicant is hospitalised for a certain period, there will be complete evaluation of his health issues. His condition will improve if he is allowed to undergo all necessary tests for correct diagnoses and further line of proposed treatment. Therefore, interim bail cannot be given if efficacious relief of hospitalisation is granted.”

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