Mumbai, Apr 22: Former deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal's admission to St George Hospital in South Mumbai was facilitated by a doctor at Arthur Road prison here who fudged a medical register entry by his superior recommending that he be treated for toothache, a senior Prisons department official said today.
Bhujbal, remanded in judicial custody in an alleged money laundering case, was admitted to ICU of the multi-speciality hospital on April 18 after he complained of severe chest pain and high blood pressure.
However, the probe by the Prisons department has revealed that Dr Rahul Ghule altered the initial recommendation made by his senior in the medical register that Bhujbal be taken to the hospital for toothache by writing that he be taken to medical OPD.
"On April 16, Dr Bansode (Chief Medical Officer, Arthur Road Jail) had recommended that Bhujbal be taken (to St George) to dental OPD for his toothache.
"However, on April 17, despite being on leave, Ghule, without the knowledge of CMO or jail authorities, fudged the jail register no.32 wherein he changed initial recommendation regarding Bhujbal by suggesting that he (Bhujbal) be taken to medical OPD there for other reasons," Bipin Kumar Singh, IG, (Prisons) said.
The officer said they suspect that Ghule had also accompanied Bhujbal to the hospital on April 18. Considering the seriousness of the act, the jail authorities have repatriated Ghule to Public Health Department and recommended stringent action against him.
"If a prisoner has a medical ailment, he has the right to get medical treatment. But, never is a prisoner taken anywhere except J J Hospital. Ghule has been fired as he was found guilty and we have recommended strict action against him," Singh said.
He said the motive behind Ghule's conduct and whether he received favours for it will be ascertained after the health department completes its probe into the matter.
Interestingly, Ghule had earlier alleged special treatment to inmates of the prison by the authorities in lieu of monetary considerations. MoS, Home, (Urban) Ranjit Patil had ordered a DGP level probe into allegations of VIP treatment being accorded to some detainees in lieu of bribe at the jail.
The orders came after Ghule on April 6 wrote to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis alleging that jail authorities were coercing and threatening inmates lodged for economic offences and forcing them to cough up lakhs of rupees for availing VIP treatment.
DIG (Prisons) Rajan Dhamne today recorded Ghule's statement as part of the probe. Jail authorities are now awaiting the discharge report of Bhujbal.