Mumbai: Arrested businesswoman insists she is unwell, doctors deny

Updated: Aug 28, 2019, 10:09 IST | Vinod Kumar Menon | Mumbai

Purnima Mhatre was admitted to hospital after she was found in a semi-conscious state in jail; as her medical reports are all normal, court issues another arrest warrant

As her health tests were normal, Purnima Mhatre was escorted back to Byculla jail by the police
As her health tests were normal, Purnima Mhatre was escorted back to Byculla jail by the police

The Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) of JJ Group of hospitals witnessed high drama on Tuesday evening, when a police escort team, as directed by the hospital, asked high-profile entrepreneur Purnima Mhatre, 52, to accompany them back to Byculla jail.

Mhatre was admitted to the MICU late on Friday under the care of Dr Wiqar Shaikh, professor of medicine and unit head 5, after her health deteriorated in the prison. She had been arrested on August 23 morning by Khar police after the Bandra court issued an arrest warrant against her in a cheque bounce case. Sunday mid-day had reported her arrest and admission to hospital (Cosmetic surgeon held for cheque bounce admitted to ICU).

Highly placed sources attached to the hospital informed mid-day that around 5pm, Mhatre was to be discharged and taken to the prison, as all her health test reports including scan reports had come negative for any suspected ailment.

Also Read: Mumbai: Bizwoman held for cheque bouncing admitted to ICU

Passed urine in protest

Sources said Mhatre screamed and threw a tantrum at the hospital saying she was still unwell, and not able to lie down. She even passed urine on the bed, saying she could not go to jail.

As the doctors were convinced that she had no underlying health issues, which was conveyed to the escort police team, they finally took her outside the ward and escorted her back to Byculla jail.

The urine sample report to rule out any toxic presence in the body (to check for drug overdose possibility) sent to the Hinduja laboratory has come negative.

Also Read: Mumbai Crime: City banker booked by Punjab police for fraud

A senior doctor added, even her MRI scan, EEG (electroencephalogram, a test used to find problems related to electrical activity of the brain) and blood reports are normal. A doctor said she might be malingering (feigning illness), a fact which cannot be ruled out after all her reports came negative.

Mhatre used to run a cosmetic centre in Khar under the banner Gorgeous Skin Care Clinic and has been in the business for nearly over a decade.

She was arrested by Khar police in a cheque bouncing case filed before the Metropolitan Magistrate Court, Bandra (E), which had issued the arrest warrant against her.

Another arrest warrant issued

On Tuesday, the 63rd Metropolitan Magistrate court, Bandra issued another arrest warrant (bailable) against Mhatre and her husband, Savio Gaspar D'Souza, in another cheque bouncing case for Rs 6 lakh.

According to Advocate Rakesh Jain, the complainant, Subhadra Shah, 70, a resident of Vile Parle, through her son Hitesh, 56, had given a loan of Rs 6 lakh to Mhatre.

To repay it, Mhatre issued three cheques dated August 6, 7, and 9, 2018, each for Rs 2 lakh drawn on HDFC bank, Khar, but all were dishonoured due to insufficient funds.

A legal notice was issued to the company and its directors in September 2018, asking them to clear dues within 15 days, but they failed, and a case was registered in court under section 138 read with 141 of Negotiable Instrument Act.

Advocate Jain said, "The earlier arrest was in some other case. The arrest warrant (bailable) issued on Tuesday will have to be executed again by Khar police, and the accused will have to be brought before the court, and bail will be sought accordingly. Even her husband Savio was not present in the court on Tuesday and a warrant has been issued against him too."

He added, "We have already produced all our evidence before the court and the trial will begin soon. The quantum of punishment, usually in such offence, if proved, will be double the amount (Rs 6 lakh payment due, so it will become Rs 12 lakh) and imprisonment for six months.

Also Read: Mumbai Crime: Gold loan fraud busted, 6 arrested for duping banks

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