The Bombay High Court on Wednesday allowed Honey Babu, an associate professor at the University of Delhi, accused of the Elgar Parishad-Maoist link case, to be shifted to the private Breach Candy Hospital for treatment.
Honey Babu moved the High Court on Wednesday morning and sought medical help for an eye infection, which he developed after contracting COVID-19.
The High Court said that Mr. Babu should be shifted to the Breach Candy Hospital on Thursday under police protection, and will bear the expenses of his treatment and prescribed medicines there.
He and his family.
Honey Babu tested positive for coronavirus earlier this month and is currently undergoing treatment at Government GT Hospital in Mumbai.
Last week, officials of Taloja Jail in neighboring Navi Mumbai brought him to JJ Hospital here, from where he was shifted to GT Hospital.
His wife Jenny Rowena moved the High Court on Wednesday morning, seeking interim bail and medical assistance for him.
His lawyer, senior advocate Yug Chaudhary, approached the leave bench of Justices SJ Kathavala and SP Tawde seeking immediate hearing on the grounds that apart from testing positive for coronovirus, Mr Babu had also developed a severe eye infection and There was a danger of losing sight. In his left eye.
Mr. Chaudhary said that Mr. Babu should be investigated to rule out the possibility of black fungus.
Mucormycosis, or black fungus, is a rare but serious infection found in many COVID-19 patients.
The bench, accordingly, summoned the Dean of GT Hospital, Dr. BG Chikhalkar, who appeared with other doctors through video-conferencing and told the bench that Mr. Babu was being provided adequate treatment.
The court then asked to arrange a video call between Bench and Honey Babu.
When Mr. Babu came on the line, he told the High Court that he was satisfied with the treatment at GT Hospital.
“My eye is a little better now. I’m satisfied,” he said.
Hospital officials told the High Court that they were not equipped to do the MRI angio test which JJ Hospital recommended for Mr. Babu’s brain.
Advocate Chaudhary told the High Court that Mr. Babu also required several other special trials and sought interim bail.
“If the state cannot take care of me, let me take care of myself and my life,” argued Mr. Chaudhary.
The High Court said that it would not grant bail to Mr. Babu, but he could allow him to be transferred to the hospital of his choice.
NIA counsel, Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh opposed this and said that JJ Hospital, KEM Hospital, Nair Hospital located in the city were all equipped to treat Mr. Babu.
“Otherwise, it would become an example and all prisoners would want to be transferred to private hospitals,” Mr. Singh said.
However, the High Court refused to accept this argument.
The court said, “The family should at least get psychological satisfaction that they are being treated at the hospital of their choice, especially if they are collecting bills.”
The High Court said that there is nothing wrong in making it a precedent, especially in the current situation.
The High Court said, “So we are asking them to pay the bill. We have not taken the example of Nanavati and asked the state to pay the bill.”
It was referring to a previous High Court order that directed the private Nanavati hospital here to bear the expenses of treatment of activist Varvara Rao, who is also an accused in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist link case.
The High Court directed the Breach Candy Hospital to submit the medical report of Mr. Babu to the court by the next date of hearing till June 9 or whenever Mr. Babu is discharged from the hospital.
According to his family and lawyer, Mr. Babu had an acute eye infection on 3 May, and has not yet received proper medical care.
Last week, Mr. Babu’s wife Jenny Rowena said at a press conference that her family was struggling to get information about her health condition from prison officials and the NIA investigating the case.
Mr. Babu was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in July 2020.
The Elgar Parishad case relates to alleged inflammatory speeches at a conference held in Pune on December 31, 2017, about which the police claimed violence took place the next day near the Koregaon-Bhima War Memorial in the district.
The Pune police claimed that the conclave had the support of the Maoists.
Later, the matter was taken over by the NIA. Several other activists, including Sudha Bhardwaj and Varvara Rao, were arrested in this case.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)