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Court Rejects Kejriwal’s Plea for Consulting his Personal Doctor in Jail

Court Rejects Kejriwal’s Plea for Consulting his Personal Doctor in Jail

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Manas Dasgupta

NEW DELHI, Apr 22: Delhi Rouse Avenue Court on Monday rejected the plea of chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, a Type 2 diabetes patient, to allow him daily 15 minutes of medical consultation with his personal doctor in the presence of his wife Sunita Kejriwal.

The has, however, ordered the constitution of a medical panel – of specialist doctors – to decide if the Aam Aadmi Party leader does, in fact, need regular insulin shots. This panel will also prescribe a diet and exercise plan for Arvind Kejriwal, 55.

However, till the panel is constituted and arrives at its recommendations, the Chief Minister may continue to have home-cooked food, so long as it adheres to the instructions of the court. Till that time, jail officials will also have to submit a court report every 15 days on Mr Kejriwal’s health. While sending him to judicial custody earlier this month the court had allowed him home-cooked food and bottled drinking water.

The court’s special judge for CBI and ED cases Kaveri Baweja further directed that requisite medical treatment should be provided and in case of requirement of any special consultation, jail authorities shall concern a medical board constituted by the director of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) consisting of an endocrinologist and a diabetologist.

The plea filed by Kejriwal, who is under judicial custody in the money laundering case related to the Delhi liquor excise policy case, stated that he should be allowed 15 minutes of medical consultation with Dr Ravichandra Rao through video conference. It added that his wife Sunita should be allowed to join the call.

It further stated that Kejriwal had begun the ‘Insulin Reversal Programme’ on February 1 under medical supervision and the administration of insulin was discontinued. He was also provided with medical and dietary interventions and some daily exercises which led to Kejriwal switching to oral medication while maintaining optimal glucose levels during the program, the plea said.

However, since the CM was arrested on March 21, he was incapacitated and was unable to follow the said ‘Insulin Reversal Programme’, and so, he has to be restored to the administration of insulin to control his sugar levels.

Mr Kejriwal, who was arrested on March 21 in connection with the alleged Delhi liquor policy scam, had moved the court last week, claiming Tihar Jail officials had failed to provide a regular supply of insulin, a critical drug for diabetics. The Chief Minister’s party claimed a “conspiracy to kill” him.

The AAP leader has said he has been prescribed 50 units of insulin daily – 28 in the morning and 22 at night – and that he had been “deprived of the life-saving drug for 29 days.” On Monday morning, Kejriwal said his blood sugar level was between 250 and 320 mg/dl. According to the World Health Organization guidelines “expected values for normal fasting blood glucose concentration are between 70 and 100 mg/dL (or milligrams per decilitre)”.

Sources said Mr Kejriwal has written to the Tihar Jail Superintendent challenging the release of a statement over the weekend that said doctors the central government-run All India Institute of Medical Sciences had “assured (the Chief Minister) there is no serious concern.” “I read the statement of Tihar administration in the newspaper. Both statements are false. I am asking for insulin daily… I showed the glucometer readings (three times a day) and told them sugar levels are high…” he said.

AIIMS doctors never said there is nothing to worry about… they said they will respond after looking at the (medical) data and (patient) history,” the Chief Minister reportedly said. Last week the arresting agency, the Enforcement Directorate, opposed Mr Kejriwal’s request on grounds that earlier meetings had been “misused”; the implied reference was to the Chief Minister issuing instructions to his government – to Health Minister Saurabh Bhardwaj and PWD Minister Atishi – from jail, a practice the opposition BJP has slammed as unethical.

The ED also claimed Mr Kejriwal had deliberately eaten foods high in sugar – mangoes and toffees – to elevate his blood sugar level and establish grounds for medical bail. The ED had also argued that mangoes and toffees in the Chief Minister’s diet violated court orders. “Diet chart has mangoes and sweets on it… it has been placed before the court. (Mr Kejriwal) is regularly consuming foods not permitted for any diabetic patient,” the agency’s lawyer had said.

In his argument Mr Kejriwal slammed the ED for its remarks. “It is shocking that ED (believes) a person would deliberately cause such alarming hikes in sugar level and risk his life – for getting medical bail.”

A major row erupted over Kejriwal’s diet and diabetes treatment in Tihar jail after the jail authorities in their report to Delhi LG VK Saxena said the RML hospital doctors did not indicate any insulin requirement for Kejriwal. According to the jail authorities, Kejriwal’s blood sugar levels were not alarming and he was advised oral anti-diabetic drugs. The AAP ministers have accused the prison authorities of conspiring to ensure a “slow death” for Mr Kejriwal at the behest of the BJP government at the centre.

Earlier in the day, the Delhi court also dismissed a plea seeking the release of Kejriwal on “extraordinary interim bail” in all criminal cases registered by the Enforcement Directorate and the State till the completion of his tenure. The court also imposed a ₹75,000 fine on the petitioner saying that the AAP leader was in judicial custody by the orders of the court.

According to the court, the plea, filed by a fourth-year law student under the name of ‘We the People of India’, was “not maintainable” as courts in its writ jurisdiction cannot grant extraordinary interim bail in pending cases initiated against a person holding high office.



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