Delhi HC orders constitution of Medical Board for evaluating medical condition of PMLA accused Amit Katyal in land-for-jobs scam case
Justice Vikas Mahajan [07-06-2024]




Tulip Kanth


New Delhi, June 12, 2024: While considering the bail petition of PMLA accused Amit Katyal in the alleged land-for-jobs scam case, the Delhi High Court has directed the constitution of a Medical Board of AIIMS to evaluate the medical condition of the petitioner. The High Court noted that the Medical Status Report only recorded the complaints of the petitioner but not the underlying medical condition / ailment.

The Single-Judge Bench of Justice Vikas Mahajan was considering an application filed by the petitioner seeking a direction in the form of ex-parte ad-interim order for releasing him on bail. On 3.06.2024, notice was issued in the application of the petitioner seeking interim bail and the respondent was directed to file a Status Report.Status Report filed by the Respondent-ED and Medical Status Report filed by the Jail Superintendent were placed on record. 


Praying for the release of the petitioner on humanitarian and medical grounds, counsels for the petitioner submitted that the health condition of the petitioner is precarious and requires urgent medical treatment. It was submitted that the authorities have not been able to provide the requisite medical treatment and diet which is immediately warranted given the fact that the petitioner underwent bariatric surgery at Medanta in April, 2024. It was argued that the Medical Status Report recorded that the petitioner is suffering from coronary artery disease, diabetes, mellitus, obstructive Sleep Apnea, Hepatomegaly and Syncope with normal blood pressure & pulse and raised sugar levels and the same cannot be effectively managed in jail. The counsels contended that the health condition of an individual is of paramount importance and every person has a right to get himself adequately and effectively treated especially when the individual is suffering from serious co-morbidities leaving him in a compromised position.

The Bench referred to first proviso to Section 45(1) of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, which makes it luminous that the said provision has been incorporated in the provision to carve out an exception which empowers the Court to grant bail to a person who is under the age of sixteen years or is a woman or is sick or infirm, without insisting upon strict compliance of twin conditions, namely that there are reasonable grounds for believing that accused is not guilty of offence of money-laundering and he is not likely to commit any offence while on bail.


A perusal of the medical status report showed that the same didn;t disclose the underlying aliment from which the petitioner was stated to be suffering from, to enable this Court to arrive at a conclusion whether the petitioner required sustained specialized treatment which cannot be provided to him whilst in custody. The Medical Status Report only recorded the complaints of the petitioner but not the underlying medical condition / ailment.


It was observed that in the absence of an opinion of the experts it is difficult for this Court to come to the conclusion as to whether it is a case for grant of interim bail on the medical grounds. The Court cannot assume the role of an expert and make assessment of its own as regard the medical condition of the petitioner on the basis of medical records placed on the Court file.


“At the same time, on humanitarian grounds, the medical condition of the petitioner as borne out from the medical status report cannot be simply brushed aside given the fact that there is material on record suggesting that the petitioner is a heart patient and has undergone bariatric surgery recently besides having other ailments”, the Bench said.


Thus, the Bench directed the Director, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to immediately constitute a Medical Board of Doctors from minimum three different specialties for evaluating the medical condition of the petitioner. Listing the matter on 17.06.2024 before the Vacation Bench, the High Court also ordered the Jail Superintendent to furnish all medical records of the petitioner to the Medical Board of Doctors so constituted on or before 11.06.2024.

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