Kolkata, Nov 9 (PTI) Taking note of difficulties expressed by the Command Hospital here, the Calcutta High Court on Thursday directed its advocate to name alternative medical establishments where treatment can be provided to West Bengal minister Jyoti Priya Mallick, arrested by the ED in an alleged ration distribution scam case.
The Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) court here had directed the central agency to get Mallick medically checked at the Command Hospital of the Eastern Army Command here during his Enforcement Directorate (ED) custody.
The Command Hospital authorities moved the high court after the CMM court refused to modify its order that had directed the ED to get Mallick checked up at the military medical establishment.
"Learned advocate representing the Command Hospital is directed to immediately forward the names of the alternative medical establishments where a similar type of treatment may be extended to the accused person," a vacation bench of Justice Amrita Sinha said.
It was submitted that the ED has taken up the matter with the Defence secretary, and that he will come up with a solution at the earliest.
The officer representing the Command Hospital submitted before Justice Sinha that to honour the court’s direction, they will check up on the accused person till a decision is arrived at by an amicable settlement between the parties in the matter, subject to any order passed by the court.
Stating that Mallick is required to be checked up every alternate day, it was stated that the Command Hospital has already held such procedure on four occasions.
Noting that the matter is due to appear before the CMM court again on November 13, Justice Sinha requested the Command Hospital to hold medical checkups of the accused person on two further occasions.
She directed that it would be open for the ED to make necessary prayers before the CMM court for specifying an alternative place for a medical check-up of the accused.
Moving the high court, the Command Hospital expressed its difficulty in carrying out the direction passed by the CMM, Calcutta, on October 27 whereby it was directed to constitute a medical board for the treatment of Mallick, submitting that the facility is meant for the persons in uniform and not for the civilians.
It was submitted that the Command Hospital falls within the ‘prohibited place’ classification and civilians ought not to be permitted to enter the same.
The safety and security of the hospital as well as the persons undergoing treatment there are jeopardised if civilians are permitted to enter its premises, it was submitted.
Mallick, who currently holds the Forest portfolio and is a former minister for Food and Supplies, was arrested by the ED in the early hours of October 27 from his residence at Salt Lake here in connection with its investigation into the alleged ration distribution scam.
Mallick, who held the Food and Supplies portfolio from 2011 to 2021, had fallen ill in the courtroom on October 27, following which the judge had allowed his treatment at a private hospital of choice.
The CMM court had directed that following initial treatment there and after he feels good, Mallick would be treated and checked up at the Command Hospital. PTI AMR NN