Dr Kafeel Ahmad Khan granted bail
26 April 2018
The Allahabad high court on Wednesday granted bail to Dr Kafeel Ahmad Khan, a paediatrician arrested last September in connection with the death of several children in Baba Raghav Das Medical College, Gorakhpur, due to alleged interruption in oxygen supply.
Dr Khan and some other hospital staff were charged with negligence and imprisoned after the state administration ordered an inquiry into the tragedy.
Ironiclly, it was Dr Khn who worked ceaselessly to procure cylinders from suppliers at his own expense to save the children, as the hospital had run out of stock, allegedly due to non-payments.
Dr Khan, the head of the encephalitis ward and an assistant professor at the paediatrics department, has since been removed from the post of nodal officer at the National Health Mission in the wake of the deaths.
A total of 63 children had died at the Baba Raghav Das Medical College due to disruption in oxygen supply. Over 30 children, including new-borns, had died at the BRD Medical College on 10 and 11 August in the height of the tragedy last year.
Dr Khan, however, said he and the others imprisoned in connection with the tragedy were being made “scapegoats” for administrative failure of higher officials.
Justice Yashwant Varma granted bail after hearing counsels representing Dr Khan and the state government in the case.
The court, while granting bail, however, warned the applicant against attempting to tamper with the records / documents related to the case or trying to threaten or influence any witnesses of the case.
Earlier, Dr Kafeel Khan was brought to Gorakhpur district hospital for medical checkup under strict security on 19 April, after his wife alleged that her jailed husband was being denied medical care.
The district hospital's cardiologist Dr K K Shahi had tested his blood pressure, carried out other tests and advised him to undergo complete lipid profile test to ascertain risks of heart ailments.
After the tests, the police tried to take him away without any media interaction but on the way from cardiology department to the police vehicle, he told reporters present there that he was being framed.
"It is complete administrative failure and I have been framed. When the budget was not released from higher level, where from the payment could have been made (for oxygen cylinders)?" he asked.
Dr Khan, who was arrested on 2 September near Kalesar in Sahjanwa on his way to Gorakhpur, has been in jail for more than seven months.
The lower court had rejected his bail application earlier after which he approached the high court on 16 February 2018.
After hearing Dr Khan’s bail application, the court had asked the state government to file its counter affidavit in the case.
Meanwhile, the Gorakhpur police had also dropped charges of corruption and private practice against Dr Khan.
Other than Dr Khan, eight others were named in the FIR. All the nine accused, including the oxygen supplier have been in jail since their arrest.