//Six Apollo doctors charged in Mahajan drug abuse

Six Apollo doctors charged in Mahajan drug abuse

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Four months after the nation was rocked by a drug scandal involving Rahul Mahajan, son of late Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Pramod Mahajan, Delhi Police Wednesday formally charged 13 people, including doctors and executives of Indraprastha Apollo Hospital here, with destroying evidence to help Rahul escape the law.

An official spokesperson of Indraprastha Apollo hospital, however, maintained that 'we are yet to receive a copy of the chargesheet. We can comment on this development only after Nov 4 when the case will be taken up in the court.'

The charge sheet was filed Wednesday before additional chief metropolitan magistrate Kamni Lau.

The police have formally charged six doctors and six other executives of the hospital, including Sudhanshu Mittal, a close aide of late Mahajan, who is also a key functionary at Apollo hospital.

Harish Sharma, another aide of the late BJP leader, has also been charged in the case.

The doctors include hospital medical director Anupam Sibal and senior management of the hospital, who were charged with deliberately giving false information and misleading the police when they investigated charges of drug abuse against Mahajan junior.

The charge sheet filed by Delhi Police pointed out that the hospital registers were deliberately tampered with at the specific instructions of Apollo DGM Rajji Chandru and Pramod Mahajan's aide Sudhanshu Mittal to conceal the actual time of admission of Rahul Mahajan and his aide Bibek Moitra.

Harish Sharma is already a co-accused in the case.

Senior police officials said Delhi Police has sufficient evidence to charge the doctors and other hospital executives under Section 201 of the Indian Penal Code for deliberate attempts to save the accused and destroying evidence.

Rahul was admitted to the hospital June 2 in a serious condition following a drinks-and-drugs party the previous night at the official Delhi residence of the senior Mahajan. Bibek Moitra, a close aide of Pramod Mahajan, died of suspected drug overdose after the binge.

The police had registered a case against Apollo on June 9 on charges of providing false information. The hospital had initially maintained that Rahul's toxic screen test did not reveal any narcotics in his blood and urine samples. However, the Central Forensic Sciences Laboratory found traces of heroin and cocaine in the blood samples of Rahul and Moitra.