Told to pay Rs 38,000 a day for police guards at pvt hospital, Peter Mukerjea moves court

Sadaf Modak
Peter Mukerjea has also filed a bail plea on medical grounds. (File)

FORMER STAR India CEO, Peter Mukerjea, who suffered a minor heart attack in the judicial custody last week, approached the special court Friday after he was asked to pay Rs 38,000 per day as deposit for the policemen guarding him at the private hospital he is admitted to.

Mukerjea, through his advocates, filed a plea before the court stating that officials of the state-run JJ Hospital, where he was admitted after complaining of chest pain, had "compelled" him to deposit Rs 18,597 to discharge him. He added that an undertaking was sought from his sister stating that she will pay an extra amount if required. Mukerjea told the court that he was also asked to deposit Rs 38,000 per day for two shifts of police guards till he is discharged from the private hospital in Bandra, where is admitted to undergo a bypass surgery.

"The accused (Peter) states that there is no legal provision asking the accused in custody to pay any charges. It is the duty of the jail authorities and state government to depute appropriate guards to monitor the safe custody of the accused as he is in judicial custody," his application states. He also said that he does not need any police protection as he is not even permitted to leave his hospital room due to his serious condition.

"The accused is in custody for last several years and he is not in a position to pay the charges of police protection as he has never asked for it," the plea states. He has sought that the money taken from him be refunded and the DCP Headquarters, in charge of the police escorts, be directed not to ask for any further amount. Special Judge JC Jagdale has directed the DCP to reply to the plea.

Mukerjea has also filed a bail plea on medical grounds. "The accused states that he has been under tremendous mental stress for the last several years due to his detention in a false case…This mental stress is responsible for his vulnerable condition of heart. The accused states that continuation in jail will never improve the condition of the accused and irreparable damage will be caused to his health," the bail plea claimed.

He further said that due to his medical condition he will require several months of stress-free strict health regime. He also said that there was an "inordinate delay" in taking him to JJ Hospital. "The government's rules and regulations, the availability of escorts and decision to send the accused to the hospital required several days, making it extremely difficult for any accused to get timely medical treatment in absence of any guidelines," he said in the plea filed through advocates Shrikant Shivade and Amit Ghag.

Claiming that there were several instances in the the past of accused persons dying before their admission in the hospital due to non-availability of immediate medical treatment, Mukerjea said he apprehends "grave danger" if he is sent back to jail as no emergency treatment is available at Arthur Road prison, where he is lodged. He has sought provisional bail for a period of six months or regular bail on medical grounds. The court has directed the CBI to file its reply.