Two doctors convicted for sheltering accused
New Delhi, Dec. 22: Two doctors, who extended “medical asylum” to a wanted former MLA by allowing him to remain in hospital for 527 days without any justifiable reason, have been held guilty of contempt by the Supreme Court which said they had “obstructed” in administration of justice.
The apex court convicted Gurgaon-based private hospital’s Medical Director Munish Prabhakar and Managing Director K S Sachdev, saying they were responsible for “such prolonged admission” of the former Haryana legislator, against whom repeated non-bailable warrants were issued by the courts in connection with a murder case.
“In our view, the medical professionals, namely Dr Munish Prabhakar and Dr K S Sachdev, extended medical asylum to the respondent (Balbir) without there being any reason or medical condition justifying prolonged admission of the respondent as an indoor patient as a cover to defeat the orders passed by this court and the trial court, as stated above and thereby aided and assisted the respondent in violating the order of this court,” a bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur said.
“We thus hold the respondent guilty of having violated the order dated October 24, 2013 passed by this court and for having obstructed administration of justice. We also hold Dr Munish Prabhakar and Dr K S Sachdev guilty for having helped the respondent in his attempts and thereby obstructing administration of justice,” the bench, also comprising Justices R Banumathi and U U Lalit, said.
The bench, which also held Balbir guilty of violating the court order, directed the three contemnors to remain present before it on January 2 next year to decide the quantum of punishment to be awarded to them for contempt of court.
The court’s order came on a petition filed by Sita Ram, who was the informant in the FIR lodged in May 2011 in Rohtak district of Haryana, in which he had sought initiation of contempt of court against Balbir for “willful and deliberate violation” of apex court’s October 24, 2013 order.
The apex court, in its October 2013 order, had set aside the order passed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court granting bail to Balbir and had directed him to surrender forthwith.
However, he did not surrender after the apex court order, following which the trial court had issued non-bailable warrants against him.
When the court was informed that Balbir was hospitalised, it had asked the police to verify it and during the enquiry, it was found that he was admitted in the hospital for 527 days.