KEM Hospital dean under police scanner
The enquiry report for a case involving patient refusal at Sion Hospital was not produced under the RTI Act, prompting the RTI activist to lodge a complaint; it has been revealed that the withheld report had been in Dr Sandhya Kamath's custody
Dr Sandhya Kamath, who is presently the dean of KEM Hospital, has come under the scanner of the Sion police, as prima-facie she has been found responsible for misplacing public records. The document in question is an enquiry report pertaining to a case lodged by social activist Samir Zaveri on March 13 last year against Sion Hospital staff for refusing treatment to Deepak Sawant (34), after he fell off a moving train at Dadar.
After an FIR was lodged under sections 336, 269 of IPC, a departmental inquiry was initiated against doctors of the emergency ward in the matter. The then acting dean Dr Suleman Merchant had submitted an inquiry report to Dr Sandhya Kamath, who was then the dean of Sion Hospital. Later, Zaveri demanded to see the inquiry report by making an application under the RTI Act, which Sion hospital failed to provide him with. Zaveri then appealed to the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC).
During the hearing, the CIC awarded a Rs 25,000 fine to Dr Rakesh Verma, who is assistant dean cum nodal public information officer (PIO), for the delay in furnishing the information report. In turn, Dr Verma has revealed that the report in question was kept in the personal custody of Dr Kamath.
Based on yet another complaint by Zaveri last week, the Sion police added section 9 of the Maharashtra Public Records Act, 2005 in the FIR. The section applies to those who contravene provisions of section 4 and 8 pertaining to preservation and maintenance of public documents.
“Now, Dr Kamath will face action as Dr Verma’s affidavit says that the inquiry report was in Kamath’s custody. If she is found guilty, she will face jail up to 5 years or a fine of up to Rs 10, 000 or both,” said Zaveri.
In his affidavit, Dr Verma has alleged that after the hearing, Dr Kamath had promised that she would pay the entire fine amount, as the report was in her custody. But she hasn’t done so till date. Dr Verma has requested the commission to revaluate the case and pass a fair order based on merit, by imposing the penalty on the person who is actually guilty. “We have added sections to the FIR. The matter is under investigation,” said Vinod Randive, investigation officer.
The other side
“Dr Sandhya Kamath is not available for comment, as she is on leave,” said Dr Shubhangi Parkar, acting dean of KEM hospital. “I have given an affidavit to the CIC. But there has been no development in the matter,” said Dr Verma.