Doctor who issued Maanayata Dutt's medical certificate in eye of storm

Cardiothoracic surgeon from Global Hospital Dr Ajay Chaughule, one of the senior doctors who has been treating Maanayata Dutt for the past few months and who signed medical documents confirming that she was unwell, has found himself in a fix, after he gave contradictory statements within a few hours on Saturday. It was apparently on the basis of Dr Chaughule’s reports that actor Sanjay Dutt, currently serving a prison sentence, applied for parole to be with his “ailing wife”. The State government’s decision to grant the actor parole for the second time in less than six months, has raised a storm in political circles across the country, with many accusing the Congress-led government of going soft on a man serving a jail sentence on a terror charge.

Maanayata Dutt
Maanayata Dutt

Speaking to Sunday MiD DAY, Dr Chaughule said it was at the behest of Maanayata that he had issued a medical certificate highlighting her ailments. It was this certificate that Sanjay Dutt’s legal team used to seek parole for a month for the actor.

While speaking to a section of the media on Saturday morning, Dr Chaughule was quoted as saying, “Maanayata has a tumor in the liver. She had chest pain and has lost 10 kilos in 15-20 days. We have advised her to undergo certain tests for heart ailment. Once the tests are done, we can decide whether surgery is required or not.”

However, by Saturday evening while speaking to Sunday MiD DAY he changed his statement and said, “Maanayata’s weight loss has nothing to do with her liver ailment and moreover she has lost weight over the period of time due to her dieting and exercise regime.” The doctor added, “Maanayata visited me the week after Diwali with complaints of heaviness in the chest and abdomen area. She was advised to do an ultrasound and a few blood tests. It was only in the first week of December, when she visited me for a second time with all her tests reports that I suspected a tumor in her liver, after going through her ultrasound report.”

Dr Chaughule further added, “I was concerned about the tumor and hence advised her to urgently get a CT contrast for liver done to rule out malignancy. She was to visit Global Hospital on Saturday for the test, but did not turn up. Our original plan was to show her liver test report to well-known liver transplant surgeon Mohammed Rela, who is visiting Global Hospital on Monday.”

Chaughule said Maanayata had also been advised to get an angiography done, which she has not done yet. “She has investigation phobia and is scared to get any invasive tests done. Also, she is worried about the reports revealing any serious ailment,” the doctor said.

Why was the certificate issued?
Dr Chaughule confirmed that a police team had visited him few days after he issued the certificate to verify his signature and confirm its authenticity. However, when asked why he suddenly felt the need to address the media about a patient whom he has barely begun treating, the doctor had no convincing answer. “I think someone leaked the information about her (Maanayata) ailment to the media, who has been calling me up since morning. My number is on the medical certificate,” he said. When asked why a patient, apparently extremely stressed about her illness and clearly told to get some big tests done, was not advised rest, he said, “I have told her to lead a normal life and only once the tests reports are out, would we plan the future course of treatment.” 

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