2 Gurgaon docs fined Rs 1.40 crore for ex-MLA asylum

The apex court said that neither Balbir surrendered, nor the concerned police took any steps to arrest him.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday slapped a fine of Rs 1.40 crore on two doctors of a private hospital in Gurgaon in Haryana for giving asylum to a former legislator for 527 days to evade arrest by the police.

A bench of Justices Dipak Misra, A.M. Kanwilkar, and M.M. Shantanagoudar passed this order taking a serious view of the conduct of Dr Munish Prabhakar and Dr K.S. Sachdev, the director and the managing director of the hospital respectively. It said that each of them will pay Rs 70 lakhs to the apex court registry.

Passing orders on contempt proceedings initiated against them and Balbir Singh Bali, a former legislator who is accused in a murder case, the bench said that the money would be utilised for providing medical assistance to the under privileged. The manner of utilisation will be decided on the next date of hearing on July 6. Balbir was charged with murder and other offences for allegedly killing a businessman by the name of Vishnu on May 6, 2011, under the police station limits of Kalanaur in Haryana’s Rohtak district. He was granted bail by Punjab and Haryana high court. However, the Supreme Court cancelled the same on October 24, 2013, on a petition filed by Sita Ram, a family member of the deceased. Subsequently, a trial court repeatedly issued non-bailable warrants for his arrest but Balbir managed to dodge arrest by getting himself hospitalised with the connivance of the hospital staff. Aggrieved, the deceased’s family members filed a contempt petition against Balbir in the apex court which directed a CBI inquiry into the failure of the local police to effectuate Balbir’s arrest. The CBI gave a account as to how the local police and hospital authorities connived with Balbir to evade arrest.

The apex court said that neither Balbir surrendered, nor the concerned police took any steps to arrest him. Last December, it said: “The conduct exhibited by the ex-MLC in getting himself admitted in the hospital when there was no medical reason to justify such admission and in continuing to remain admitted till action was taken by this court, exhibits scant respect and regard for the orders and processes issued by the court. Despite issuance of notice, he has neither filed any response nor tendered any apology.”

The court also noted that although Balbir stood admitted in the hospital for 527 days, not a single laboratory test was conducted during the interim period. Thereby, the apex court initiated the contempt proceedings.

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