Excise scam: Delhi HC refuses interim bail to bizman receiving adequate medical treatment in jail

03:14 PM Jun 23, 2024 | Team Udayavani |

The Delhi High Court has refused to grant interim bail to Hyderabad businessman Arun Ramchandran Pillai, who is lodged in judicial custody in a money laundering case related to the alleged Delhi Excise scam, noting that he is receiving adequate medical treatment in jail.
Pillai, who sought to be released on interim bail on medical grounds, submitted that his family has taken opinion from ayurvedic doctors who have opined that he needs to be admitted at an ayurvedic centre to undergo 21 days “panchkarma therapy” with further rest of 21 days.
The high court said, “Without commenting on the efficacy of Panchkarma treatment with regard to the back pain, suffice to say that the applicant needs to follow the treatment advice of the doctor and even thereafter if he does not get relief and then if so advised, he would be at liberty to file an application to explore the alternative remedies of ayurveda/ panchkarma treatment etc”.
A vacation bench of Justice Ravinder Dudeja noted that none of the medical reports even remotely state that Pillai is suffering from any life threatening ailment or that treatment for such ailment is not available in the referral hospitals.
“As of now, I find no justification for grant of interim bail to the applicant (Pillai). The application is accordingly dismissed. Needless to say that the jail authorities would continue to provide the requisite medical attention to the accused as per the advice of the doctor,” the judge said.
Pillai, who was arrested by the ED in March last year, sought interim bail for eight weeks for medical reasons, including back pain.
His counsel submitted that he wanted to explore the alternative treatment as his condition was not improving with the present treatment being given to him.
The interim bail plea was opposed by the ED’s counsel, who submitted that no hospital, including Max Super Speciality Hospital, from where he is presently undergoing treatment, has referred him for panchkarma therapy.
The interim bail is being sought without any expert opinion of any doctor and without there being any necessity of the applicant to be released on interim bail, the ED’s counsel argued, adding that panchkarma therapy is merely a massage/ rejuvenating therapy which is an optional therapy.
The court, in its order, said it is conscious of the State’s responsibility to provide adequate medical care to the accused.
“However, need of seeking bail on medical grounds arises only when the prison authorities/ referral hospitals are incapable of providing required care or treatment essential for the treatment of the accused. Essentially, the ailment should be of such a nature that if the accused is not released on bail, he cannot be ensured proper treatment for his ailment,” it said.
The court said the obligation to provide necessary medical treatment does not mean that despite best treatment available in the super speciality hospital like Max and other referral hospitals, Pillai would still be entitled to the grant of interim bail.
After perusing the report from the medical officer of Tihar Jail, the court said it was satisfied that the accused is receiving adequate treatment, both at the jail dispensary as also at the referral hospitals.
It noted that there was no lapse on the part of the jail administration or even alleged by the accused regarding the treatment provided to him and observed that the report showed that Pillai himself was not taking laser physiotherapy sessions as advised by the doctors.
Pillai was arrested by the ED on March 6, 2023 following allegations that he represented the “South Group” at meetings with other accused when the 2021 excise policy was being formulated and implemented.
The South Group is allegedly a cartel of liquor businessmen and politicians who were claimed to have paid Rs 100 crore in kickbacks to the ruling AAP dispensation for favours.
The excise policy was scrapped in 2022 after the Delhi lieutenant governor ordered a CBI probe into alleged irregularities and corruption involving its formulation and execution.
The ED has claimed that Pillai is a close aide of Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) leader K Kavitha, daughter of former Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao, and the frontman for the South Group. Kavitha is also in custody in the case.


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