PBT filed a new writ petition in Calcutta High Court yesterday against West Bengal Government and top government super-speciality SSKM hospital in Kolkata after they refused to provide any information about why Mr. Madan Mitra, then state transport minister and a close ally of Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, was transferred to a comfortable special unit in SSKM hospital, a premier government medical center in Kolkata, after he was arrested and put in jail by CBI for his alleged role in the well-known Saradha Chit Fund scam in 2014. While Mr. Mitra is now free on bail as the criminal case of Saradha scam is still going on in the court, the question remains whether unlike other ordinary incarcerated criminals who are put in jail by the CBI, Mr. Mitra was able to spend his jail-time in an air-conditioned hospital cabin by virtue of his high political position.
PBT sought medical records of Mr. Mitra from the SSKM hospital (under RTI Act, 2005) after Mr. Mitra was shifted from his jail cell to the SSKM hospital for his alleged medical condition to have the records examined by outside independent medical experts. But neither the SSKM public information officer nor the First Appellate authority of the government hospital bothered even to respond to PBT RTI requests. PBT filed a Second Appeal with the West Bengal Information Commission (WBIC) in 2015, as per the provisions of RTI Act, 2005, but after more than 2 years, the Second Appeal has also remained unanswered by the WBIC. RTI Act, 2005 has stipulated that requested information must be provided within a maximum period of 30 days. Thus, PBT was compelled to move the Calcutta HC seeking direction for providing the requested information to find whether Mr. Madan Mitra was shielded to serve jail time using bogus medical certificate from unethical doctors. The writ petition is likely to come up for hearing next week.