Giving a clean chit to the private MIOT Hospital in Chennai, the Madras High Court on Friday observed that it has taken all requisite permission for construction and the building is in conformity with regulations and there has been no violation.
The first bench, comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice MM Sundresh, which disposed of the PIL filed by social activist 'Traffic' Ramaswamy, said the petitioner's "allegations are based on surmises and conjectures."
In his PIL, Ramaswamy alleged that MIOT International Hospital constructed a building of 10 floors very close to the Adyar River without proper sanction.
During heavy rains and resultant flood waters in December first week last year, the alleged encroachments by the hospital near the river were flooded, power failure occurred and there were various complications causing death of 18 patients, the petitioner alleged.
He also alleged that no proper action had been taken by police as "an inappropriate case has been registered under Section 174 Cr.P.C."
The First Bench, which disposed of the PIL after going through the counter affidavit filed by Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority, said the affidavit shows that requisite planning permission and completion certificates had been issued from time to time depending on the construction work.
The bench, which perused the interim prayer of Ramaswamy seeking relief to the victims, said "we may notice that an interim prayer cannot go beyond the scope of the main petition. The scope of the petition is unauthorized construction."
The bench observed that another allegation of Ramaswamy that 75 persons were dead during the incident "is purely imaginary" and cited a police affidavit mentioning registration of cases under various IPC sections, including 304-A (causing death by negligence).
It said post-mortem has been conducted in government hospitals on 14 bodies of patients who were stated to be under treatment at the critical care unit of MIOT Hospital. Five more persons died during the same period and the bodies were handed over to the respective relatives and "thus, the allegation that 75 persons died is stated to be purely imaginary."
"The investigation process is stated to be still on to find out if any criminal negligence tantamounting to culpable homicide is made out. Thus, it has been averred that once the investigation is complete, the final report will be filed before the Judicial Magistrate," the bench said.
The court noted that the government pleader had informed that the investigation process may take about six weeks more.
"We may notice that one case has been investigated by the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mount Range, St. Thomas Mount District, while the other is under investigation of the Inspector of Police, Pallikonda Police Station," it said.
The bench felt it would be appropriate if both the cases were investigated under the supervision of the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mount Range.
"The writ petition accordingly stands disposed of," the bench said.