In a significant development, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team had arrived in Vishakaptanam on Saturday to begin its probe into Dr Sudhakar Rao’s case as directed by the High Court on May 22.
A week after the High Court directed, the CBI visited the Government Mental Hospital in Vishakaptanam to record the statement of Dr Sudhakar Rao who had been languishing in the asylum for more than two weeks since he was arrested on May 17. For nearly six hours, the CBI from Delhi questioned the doctors and the superintendent of the Government Mental Hospital. The CBI has booked strong cases under IPC 120B, 324, 343, 379 and 506. Sudhakar’s mother Kaveri Bai reached the Government Mental Hospital after knowing that the CBI team has arrived. However, she was not allowed inside the hosptial as the investigation was underway. the The cases were booked by CBI SP P Vimaladitya under the charges of criminial intimidation, theft and illegal confinement for more than three days. The cases were booked after taking the statement of Dr Sudhakar.
In his statement, Dr Sudhakar gave a detailed description of the events that unfolded on the day he was arrested. The doctor in his statement said, “On May 16, I drove to a bank on in Anakapalli to deposit Rs 10 lakh towards clearing housing loan. I was stopped by a person at Kailsapuram Anjaneyaswamy temple. I noticed that two persons on a bike followed my car. I was stopped by two traffic constables. They snatched away my car keys, my wallet and Rs 10 lakh. Further, I have noticed that the cops have put three bottles of whiskey in my car. I was later beaten with lathis and they kicked me. I was taken to Four Town police station. After my mother arrived in the police station, the police shifted me to KGH hospital. After which, they declared that I am suffering from acute stress psychosis.”
The doctor petition the High Court fearing a threat to his life, that medicines used for treating mentally unsound people were administered leading to severe side-effects.
Hearing a petition filed by Dr Sudhakar Rao, the High Court on Friday had asked the state government to clarify if the doctor was in the police or judicial custody. Further, the court raised serious apprehensions about the medical treatment being given to Dr Sudhakar Rao and directed the state government to ensure that the doctor gets best of treatment. To this, the government assured the court that Dr Sudhakar Rao will be given good care and treatment. The government counsel sought two days time to submit a detailed report. “What is the guarantee that there won’t be any problem to the doctor’s health in these two days,” the court questioned the state counsel.
It may be recalled that Dr Sudhakar Rao was fist suspended as civil surgeon from the Narsipatnam government hospital after he raised his voice against shortage of medical equipment. In a move that is seen as vendetta, the doctor was arrested on charges of drunk driving. He was dragged on the streets, his shirt removed, his both hands tied with a rope while a constable repeatedly delivered blows with his lathi. Following this, the High Court had ordered a CBI probe into police excesses. The HC asked the CBI to probe and file the investigation report within eight weeks and book cases against Visakhapatnam police officers who allegedly used excessive force while taking Dr. Sudhakar into custody.
On Saturday, Dr Sudhakar Rao’s mother Kaveri Rao visited the Government Mental Hospital and expressed fears that her son’s life was at a grave risk. She demanded that her son be shifted to another hospital. Kaveri Bai was not allowed inside the hospital as the CBI investigation was underway. Lashing out at the state government for illegal confinement of her son in a mental hospital, Kaveri Rao said it is unfortunate that the ruling dispensation has attributed political motives to her son for raising his voice against the shortage of medical equipment in government hospitals. She sighed a sigh of relief after the CBI has begun its probe and booked cases against all those who are involved in the case under IPC Sections 120B, 324, 343, 379 and 506.
What do the Sections attract?
Section 120B was filed against all those party to a criminal conspiracy. Section 120B is punishable with death, imprisonment for life or rigorous imprisonment for a term of two years or upwards. While Section 324 defines voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means, while Section 343 was filed for wrongful confinement for three or more days. Such wrongful confinement of any person for three days, or more, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.
Section 379 was filed for offence of theft. Under the Section, whoever commits theft shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with both. Section 503 deals with criminal intimidation. Whoever threatens another with any injury to the person, reputation or property, or to the person or reputation of any one in whom that person is interested, with intent to cause alarm to that person.