No evidence of medical negligence against Dr Kafeel Khan: Allahabad HC

VARANASI: There was “no material on record, which may establish medical negligence”, said the Allahabad High Court on Thursday while granting bail to Dr Kafeel Ahmed Khan in connection with the death of over 60 infants at Gorakhpur’s BRD Medical College Hospital last August.

“…there is no material on record, which may establish medical negligence against the applicant individually. This quite apart from the fact that no inquiry was also undertaken or initiated,” justice Yashwant Verma said in a detailed order, according to The Indian Express.

Dr Kafeel Khan, who has been languishing in Gorakhpur jail since September 2, 2017 was released on bail on Wednesday.

The kids had allegedly had suffocated to death due to disruption in the oxygen supply in August 2017.

The court, cited Yogi Adityanath government’s affidavit submission as the primary reason for granting to Dr Kafeel.
“…the (UP) State in its affidavit and more particularly in paragraph 16 thereof does not attribute the deaths to a shortage of medical oxygen,” Justice Yashwant Sinha said in a detailed order released on Thursday.

In another significant point, the court said Khan was kept in jail even as he was “not stated to be part of the tendering process that resulted in the enlistment of the entity, which was charged with the supply of medical oxygen.”

“The applicant has admittedly been in custody for the last 7 months. Learned AGA (additional government advocate) states that no aspect of the investigation remains outstanding. This clearly obviates the need for the continued custody of the applicant (Khan). The applicant admittedly is a medical practitioner, a government employee with no prior criminal history,” it said.

The court said that the state government in its affidavit also “does not refer to any evidence which may establish or even tend to indicate that the applicant has tried to influence witnesses or to tamper with the evidence.”

Dr Khan, a paediatrician and was in charge of the acute encephalitis syndrome ward was initially hailed as a hero, but later faces charges which fall under Sections 308, 409 and 120 B of the Indian Penal Code, respectively.