A day after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed an FIR (first information report) against Andhra Pradesh doctor K Sudhakar Rao, who was suspended after alleging shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kit, his mother has moved the High Court in Amaravati. The CBI is probing the alleged manhandling of suspended government doctor by the Visakhapatnam police.
Filing a habeas corpus plea, Kolaventi Kaveri Lakshmi Bai sought directions from the court to produce her son and alleged that Dr Sudhakar was neither in police custody nor in judicial custody but was in 'illegal confinement' instead.
She alleged that authorities had wrongly diagnosed that he was suffering from mental health problems and sought for his release. The CBI was also made a respondent in the plea.
Dr Sudhakar, a civil assistant surgeon (anaesthesia) at Area Hospital in Narsipatnam, was suspended on April 8 allegedly after he raised the issue of masks and PPE kits.
Meanwhile, CBI officials visited the Narsipatnam Area Hospital, where Dr Sudhakar used to work before he was suspended, as part of its investigation.
The federal agency, which took up investigations on the order of the Andhra Pradesh High Court and registered an FIR against unknown police officials on May 29, also registered an FIR against the doctor on Tuesday night.
The CBI booked the doctor based on a complaint by a head constable, under sections 353, 427 and 506 for assault or criminal force to deter a public servant from the discharge of his duty, mischief and criminal intimidation of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Visakhapatnam police had booked Sudhakar Rao under the same sections on May 16 when he allegedly created a nuisance on a road in an inebriated condition. The policemen allegedly manhandled him and shifted him to the King George Hospital, where doctors referred him to the Government Hospital for Mental Care. He is still undergoing treatment at the hospital.
The Andhra Pradesh High Court on May 22 ordered a CBI probe into the incident after some petitioners who approached the court alleged that the doctor was suspended, manhandled and humiliated for raising the issue of shortage of masks and PPE kits for doctors treating COVID-19 patients.
The high court had directed that a case be booked against the policemen involved and asked the CBI to submit its report to the court in eight weeks. The court passed the orders after directing a Visakhapatnam judge to visit the hospital and personally record Dr Sudhakar's statement.
(With IANS inputs)