Doctor Kafeel Khan who is languishing in jail since last September in connection with the deaths of infants in a Gorakhpur hospital was on Wednesday granted bail by the Allahabad High Court.
A single Bench of Justice Yashwant Verma granted him bail accepting counsel’s argument that there was not sufficient evidence against him.
Narzul Islam Jafri, Mr. Khan’s main counsel, told The Hindu that the court agreed with his argument that the State government did not have “sufficient legal evidence to connect” the doctor to the charges filed against him.
Mr. Khan faces charges under attempt to commit culpable homicide, criminal breach of trust and criminal conspiracy, which fall under Sections 308, 409 and 120 B of the Indian Penal Code, respectively. The additional charges of corruption and private practice have already been dropped during investigation for lack of evidence.
“Since the deaths were due to natural cause, there is no offence against Dr. Kafeel,” Mr. Jafri said.
Mr. Khan was initially hailed as a hero for using his resources to supply oxygen to Baba Raghav Das Medical College during the crisis hour on the night of August 10 last year, when infants died there as the oxygen supply allegedly stopped.
He was then a nodal officer of the National Health Mission and an assistant lecturer in the paediatrics department of the hospital. However, on the recommendations of a four-member committee led by the State Chief Secretary, Mr. Khan was among the several doctors of the hospital indicted for the incident.
Sadaful Islam Jafri, also Mr. Khan’s counsel, said,“The court was of the impression, that if he is involved in private practice, then you can suspend him, but you cannot keep him in jail.”
He said that in its counter-affidavit filed in the High Court, the government had admitted that the infant deaths were due to natural causes and not due to any lack of oxygen supply.
Mr. Khan, while being escorted out of the district hospital, where he was taken for a medical check-up recently, said he was “being framed.”