The Bombay High Court has asked for an explanation from Taloja Jail on the discrepancies found in medical reports of two of the Elgar Parishad case accused, academician Anand Teltumbde and activist Mahesh Raut. Raut had approached the court to get himself tested for Covid-19.
Raut lawyer, Vijay Hiremath, pointed out to the court that the health parameters mentioned in Raut’s report were similar to those in Teltumbde’s report. Raut had mentioned in his plea that he had come in close contact with co-accused in the case, Varavara Rao who has tested positive and is currently receiving treatment at Nanavati Hospital in Mumbai. He has been suffering from fever and diarrhoea for a few days and hence had requested for being tested. Raut was refused testing for Covid-19 by prison authorities and hence he was compelled to approach the court.
Teltumbde on the other hand, was tested for Covid-19 on July 30 and his test reports were placed before the same bench that was hearing Raut’s plea. The Indian Express reported that Hiremath brought to the attention of the division bench comprising Justices RD Dhanuka and VG Bisht that the two separate medical reports submitted by Taloja jail, through its chief medical officer, bore identical findings on several parameters — weight, height, oxygen levels, BMI and blood pressure — for Teltumbde and Raut. Hiremath said the report did not appear to belong to his client.
“It can’t be that both the accused have the same pulse, BMI, weight, height and oxygen levels; even the blood pressure is the same,” said Hiremath while casting doubts on whether the report even belonged to Raut at all. Devyani Kulkarni appearing for Teltumbde said, “According to this report his height is 153 cm and weight is 57 kg. however, his height is actually 173 cm and weight is around 75 kg”.
Teltumbde’s report, however, states that he has developed antibodies which indicates that he was infected by coronavirus at one point while Raut’s report says that he has tested negative.
The bench initially questioned the public prosecutor on how the two reports could be similar on basic health parameters and later asked the prosecutor to seek instructions from prison officials and explain the discrepancies at the next hearing.