Allahabad HC Says “No Evidence Of Medical Negligence” Against Dr Kafeel Khan
The Allahabad High Court while granting bail to Dr Kafeel Khan on April 25 said that “no evidence of medical negligence” has been found against the doctor who had been lodged in jail over the last eight months. He was arrested in connection with the deaths of more than 70 children at Gorakhpur’s BRD Medical College Hospital in August 2017. The children allegedly died due to lack of oxygen supply.
Dr Khan last week wrote a letter from prison saying that he was being made the “scapegoat” as a part of a bigger administrative conspiracy. The police filed a charge sheet in November 2017 and the trial is yet to begin in a Gorakhpur lower court.
His wife alleged that the jail authorities were not paying proper attention to his health. Following that he was taken for a checkup in Gorakhpur district hospital.
“…there is no material on record, which may establish medical negligence against the applicant individually. This quite apart from the fact that no inquiry was also undertaken or initiated,’’ said justice Yashwant Verma in the order released on Thursday, a day after Khan was granted bail.
The court also cited Uttar Pradesh government’s affidavit as the primary reason for granting the bail. “…the (UP) State in its affidavit and more particularly in paragraph 16 thereof does not attribute the deaths to a shortage of medical oxygen,” reported The Indian Express.
The court said Dr Khan was kept in prison even as he was “not stated to be part of the tendering process” of the company supplying medical oxygen to the hospital.
“The applicant has admittedly been in custody for the last 7 months. Learned AGA (additional government advocate) states that no aspect of the investigation remains outstanding. This clearly obviates the need for the continued custody of the applicant (Khan),’’ it said.
The court noted the state — in its affidavit — does not refer to “any evidence, which may establish or even tend to indicate that the applicant has tried to influence witnesses or to tamper with the evidence”.
“The applicant admittedly is a medical practitioner, a government employee with no prior criminal history.” Other people including Manish Bhandari, the main supplier of oxygen, has also been granted bail.
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