Lawyer presents list of Bhujbal’s illnesses, seeks bail on medical grounds
A Special Prevention of Money Laundering (PMLA) Act court that is hearing former deputy chief minister Chhagan Bhujbal’s bail application, was told that he is suffering from nearly a dozen different chronic illnesses, and it is not possible to treat them in Arthur Road Jail, so he should be granted bail. The special court is likely to pass the order on his bail application on May 13.
Bhujbal, along with his nephew Sameer Bhujbal has been arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), for alleged money laundering in connection with the Maharashtra Sadan scam.
The ED had told the court, that it had attached properties of the Bhujbals worth Rs 131.86 crore and remaining properties worth Rs 708.30 crore, were yet to be identified and attached.
The Anti-Corruption Bureau had filed two FIRs against the Bhujbals after it was found there were irregularities in the construction of the state guesthouse Maharashtra Sadan in Delhi and the Kalina land-grabbing case.
“Bhujbal was arrested on March 14 and has been in jail since past 56 days. He was kept in Enforcement Directorate’s custody for two days and since then has been in jail custody. The agency has already filed a charge sheet against him,” said senior counsel Prasad Dhakephalkar, who is representing Chhagan Bhujbal.
“We are demanding bail purely on medical grounds. Bhujbal was born in 1947 and is presently 69-years-old. He can be granted bail under Section 45 (Offences to be cognizable and non-bailable) of PMLA Act 2002 if the court feels that he will not harm anyone,” said Dhakephalkar.
Dhakephalkar then gave a list of illnesses that Bhujbal presently suffers from and which need immediate attention.
“The jail authorities have been claiming that he is clinically fit, but the doctors have advised him several surgeries like angioplasty, an operation on the prostate and proper medication which is not possible in jail. Considering his age he should be granted bail on medical grounds,” said Dhakephalkar.
State pleader speak
Purnima Kantharia state pleader who appeared for the ED said, “All the diseases that are given by the defence, Bhujbal has had since past fifteen years or so and has been living with them and committing crimes as well. The certificates given to the court are all dated after March 14 and his arrest, so they have been made to get bail. He has been given proper medical attention and we are ready to take him to any government doctor they wish for his treatment.”
Bhujbal was available through video conferencing from Arthur Road Jail. His nephew Sameer was present in the PMLA court.
The special PMLA Judge P R Bhavake will give the order on the bail application on May 13. Till then the judicial custody of both has been extended to May 25.
List of illnesses
Spot on his retina
Due to this, he might lose vision and has to keep away from dust.
Pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while he is asleep.
Chronic bronchial asthma
Since 1980 Bhujbal has been facing severe breathing difficulties and has to use a nebuliser. He also gets asthma attacks at times.
High blood pressure
Since 1990. Though it’s a common problem, in Bhujbal’s case it becomes serious as it is combined with several other diseases
This was diagnosed very recently when he had visited St George’s hospital under arrest and was in hospital from April 18 to April 24; he has to undergo an operation for it as advised by St George’s doctors.
Surgery on the left shoulder
The operation was done by Dr Parag Munshi, orthopaedic surgeon of Bombay Hospital.
Bhujbal also suffers from bradycardia – slow heartbeats - and has visited Bombay Hospital several times for it. Doctors told him that his heartbeats are 40 per minute while normally they are around 60 to 100 per minute. He needs to take care of this.
Blockages in the heart
A coronary angiography was performed on Bhujbal in the year 2004 at Bombay Hospital for 20 per cent blockages. He needs to take care and to see that he eats properly and on time and exercises.