Arthur road jail: Jail Superintendent may get the boot for 'loose administration'

Jail Superintendent Bharat Bhonsale is likely to be transferred to Kalyan Jail as punishment for not being able to stop inmates Chhagan Bhujbal, Shekhar Chandrashekhar’s illegal movement out of Arthur Road Jail

Former PWD minister Chhagan Bhujbal was ‘unlawfully shifted’ from Arthur Road Jail to St George Hospital and even Ponzi scheme operator Shekhar Chandrashekhar managed to experience freedom illegally by posing as a patient. All this happened right under the nose of Arthur Road Jail superintendent Bharat Bhonsale, revealed an enquiry, which held him accountable and recommended his transfer.

Arthur Road jailArthur Road jail

The top brass of the state prison department found Bhonsale responsible for ‘loose administration’. Bhujbal and Chandrashekhar are not the only cases against Bhonsale. The enquiry has found a spate of cases, which compelled them to recommend a transfer.

Arthur Road Jail superintendent Bharat Bhonsale
Arthur Road Jail superintendent Bharat Bhonsale

While Chhagan Bhujbal’s ‘Dental OPD’ was changed to ‘Medical OPD’, which let him get admitted at St George Hospital, Chandrashekhar, managed to get himself admitted in Rajawadi Hospital and stayed there for 4 months, before finally being shifted to Arthur Road jail on April 23.

Additional director general (prisons) Bhushan Kumar Upadhyay told mid-day that based on the findings of the enquiry, jail department has recommended that Bhonsale be transferred to another jail. Sources in the prison department said the jailer is likely to be transferred to Kalyan jail, which is not a central prison.

Enquiry report
Deputy inspector general of police (West region prisons) R Dhamane conducted the enquiry after the medical officer of Arthur Road jail Dr Rahul Ghule alleged that jail officials were frequently indulging in corrupt activities. Although, Ghule himself is now a suspect for fudging with Chhagan Bhujbal’s medical documents to get him admitted into St George Hospital.

A senior jail official said though the allegations made by Dr Ghule didn’t prove to be true, the enquiry revealed lack of strict supervision on the part of Bhonsale, who is supposed to be responsible for every incident that takes place inside the jail.

Jail doctor manipulated papers
Jail sources revealed that Dr Ghule had gone to St George Hospital with Chhagan Bhujbal when he was not allowed to. He had fudged Bhujbal’s medical papers with an intention to get him admitted at St George Hospital with just a toothache. “When Bhujbal was being taken to the hospital for dental consultation, Ghule had messed with the entry in the register and crossed ‘Dental OPD’ and wrote ‘Medical OPD’,” said the then IG prison BK Singh”. Dr Ghule not only manipulated medical papers, but he went to the hospital to make sure that Bhujbal is admitted. And when an inmate from Arthur Road jail saw him there, Ghule begged him not to tell anyone that he was there, a jail source said. Jail officials later recorded this inmate’s statement during the enquiry.

Doctor’s false allegations
Dr Rahul Ghule had written a letter to the Chief Minister on April 6 with allegations against jail officials, all of which were proved false.

1) Jail officials were coercing and threatening inmates lodged there for major financial cases and forcing them to cough up lakhs to avail VIP treatment

2) The officials had demanded Rs 10 lakh from Chhagan Bhujbal’s nephew Sameer for getting him admitted into hospital by preparing false medical documents

3) Former media baron Peter Mukerjea was asked by jail officials to cough up lakhs or they would lodge him at the Anda Cell, the most rigorous punishment.

4) Amounts ranging from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 20 lakh were demanded from accused lodged in the jail for major financial scams

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