Mumbai MRI death: Nair hospital denies RTI activist access to probe report

Updated: Sep 17, 2019, 07:26 IST | Rupsa Chakraborty | Mumbai

While Nair hospital says the report has confidential information which can't be revealed, dean admits hospital doesn't have it

Rajesh Maru's family during his final rites. File pic
Rajesh Maru's family during his final rites. File pic

It has been almost one-and-half-years 32-year-old Rajesh Maru died after being sucked into an MRI machine at Nair Hospital, but it seems the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is still reluctant to make the incident's inquiry report public. Even after an order from the chief information officer (CIO), Nair Hospital refuses to provide the report to an activist in clear violation of the Right to Information Act, 2005. While in a response to the RTI request the hospital said that the report had confidential details, which if made public would affect the outcome of the probe, the dean says the hospital doesn't even possess the report.

Last year in January Maru died when he went to the hospital to visit a relative who was admitted there. The moment he entered the MRI test room with an oxygen cylinder, he got sucked into the machine.

Following this, an inquiry committee was formed which conducted an investigation and submitted the final report to former Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta.
The probe revealed that a ward boy and a female attendant were responsible for the incident, as they did not follow proper safety rules. They should have stopped Maru from going inside the room.

RTI activist Chetan Kothari, who filed the request on June 6, said, "An innocent person lost his life due to BMC's negligence. People have the right to know what the report has. Also, the hospital can't deny me the report despite the CIO's order. This is in violation of the Act."

In response to the RTI query the hospital said, "The investigation report contains confidential information and charges are yet to be framed against those found guilty. So, revealing such details under the RTI Act can affect the probe's outcome. Hence, under Section 8 of the Act, the report can't be provided."

However, dean of the hospital, Dr Ramesh Bharmal said, "The BMC did the investigation, not us. We don't even have the report to respond to the RTI query. The RTI should be filed at the civic headquarters."

Responding to this, Kothari said, "As per the RTI rules, if a filed query doesn't belong to a specific department, it is their responsibility to forward it to the authority concerned. They can't just wash off their hands."

Meanwhile, Maru's brother-in-law, Harish Solanki, said, "The BMC doesn't want to give the report as they are trying to hide some information and save their officials. They know it was their fault. That is why when we asked for the report, they refused to give it to us as well."

Even after repeated attempts to call Additional Commissioner Dr Ashwini Joshi, he remained unavailable for comment.

Rs 5L
Compensation given to Maru's family in 2018

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