The Bombay High Court on Wednesday gave permission for Prof. Hany Babu to be shifted to a better medical facility for treatment.
Prof. Babu had contracted COVID-19 and an eye infection and after several appeals were admitted to the GT Hospital in the city. The Bombay HC gave permission to shift him to Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai came when Babu moved to the court. In his plea, he complained that he was only being treated for COVID-19 and not for his eye infection which could be a result of mucormycosis or what is commonly known as ‘black fungus’ and has recently become frequent in COVID-19 patients. The court has asked the authorities to transfer him to the new medical facility by Thursday.
The National Investigative Agency opposed Babu’s plea and said that it would set a bad precedent. To which the division bench of Justices SJ Kathawalla and SP Tavade noted that the patient deserved to get medical assistance in a hospital that he chooses given the health conditions, Live Law reported. Since the hospital is a private facility, the bill will be borne by Babu’s family. The court has also given his family permission to have contact with the doctors and the patient.
To NIA’s opposition, Justice Kathawalla said that “Let the family get the psychological satisfaction at least that he is treated in a hospital of their choice. There is nothing wrong if this becomes a precedent, especially in the present times. They have also agreed to foot the bill.”
On court’s insistence, Prof. Babu joined the hearing via video call and told the court that he was satisfied with the medical assistance provided at GT Hospital. The issue was that the hospital did not have facilities to treat his eye infection, his lawyer clarified.
An earlier press note issued by his family informed that Prof. Babu started experiencing pain and swelling in his left eye from May 2 but it was only on May 12 after several pleas and public outrage that he was shifted to JJ Hospital from Taloja jail.
The Delhi University professor has been imprisoned as an undertrial under UAPA in relation to the Bhima Koregaon case since July 2020. The case is being investigated by the National Investigation Agency.