Funds released to Wadia, state and BMC tell HC

Updated: Jan 18, 2020, 07:42 IST | Agencies |

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation also told the court it had released Rs 10 crore for Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital for Children and Rs 4 crore for Nowrosjee Wadia Maternity Hospital.

The situation came to light after Wadia Hospitals stopped admitting patients last week due to lack of sufficient funds. File pic
The situation came to light after Wadia Hospitals stopped admitting patients last week due to lack of sufficient funds. File pic

The Maharashtra government on Friday told the Bombay High Court it had released Rs 24 crore to Wadia Hospitals in the metropolis, a day after the HC came down heavily on the ruling dispensation for dragging its feet on financial aid to the medical facility. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation also told the court it had released Rs 10 crore for Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital for Children and Rs 4 crore for Nowrosjee Wadia Maternity Hospital.

A division bench of Justices S C Dharmadhikari and R I Chagla is hearing a public interest litigation seeking release of grants to Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital for Children and Nowrosjee Wadia Maternity Hospital from the BMC and the state government. As per the rules, the maternity hospital gets grants from the state government, while the children's hospital gets grants from BMC. The BMC told court the claims made by the hospital was without any substance and they need to verify the same. To this, Justice Dharmadhikari said partners don't need verification.

"If you think the bills are illegitimate, people are drawing double salary.. withdraw from the partnership," he said. Justice Dharmadhikari also asked why the issue of over payment and financial irregularity was not raised earlier. Pointing out that the civic body had released about Rs 45 crore over a period of time, the judge said, "If there was large-scale irregularity, you shouldn't have released the fund."

"What did you do in the board meeting as you were part of the management...If you want an inquiry.. there will be an independent inquiry against your officers (BMC) too," Justice Dharmadhikari said. He further said if these are the discrepancies, nobody will come forward for philanthropic activity, and "you (BMC) want strategic partners everyday". After the state government also raised doubts on the hospital accounts, the HC asked all three stakeholders to convene a special meet to sort out issues.

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