Hospital Fire: bail granted to SUM Hospital owner and Superintendent

28 October, Bhubaneswar

Khurdha Additional District Judge-2 Shyam Sundar Das Friday granted conditional bail to SUM Hospital owner Manoj Nayak and hospital Superintendent Pusparaj Samantsinghar, who along with three others were arrested by the police in connection with the October 17 fire accident in the hospital.

The Judge, who granted bail, asked both Mr Nayak and Dr Samantsinghar to furnish a bail bond of Rs 1-lakh and two sureties. The court also laid down certain conditions while granting bail and said both will cooperate with the investigation process and appear before the police station as and when required by the investigating authority.

The ADJ, who heard the hearing of the bail pleas yesterday, reserved its verdict today. The police had arrested four hospital staff including the superintendent on October 18 next after the fire officer, Central zone filed FIR with the Khandagiri Police Station alleging negligence on the part of the hospital authority that led to the fire mishap.

Later, the police issued a lookout circular (LOC) against Manoj Nayak and his wife Saswati Das, both trustees of the the Sikhya O Anusandhan Charitable Trust which runs the hospital. Mr Nayak surrendered before the Khandagiri Police in the wee hours of October 20 last. All the five including Nayak were booked under section 304, 308, 285 and 34 of the IPC and produced before the SDJM court.

The Police Commissioner took Mr Nayak on police remand for two days from October 21 and after completion of the remand, Mr Nayak was sent to judicial custody.

The fire which erupted in the dialysis ward of the SUM Hospital later spread to the medicine ICU and the emergency ward. While 19 patients were killed on October 17 night, ten more of the one hundred odd patients who were rescued and evacuated from the hospital and admitted in various hospitals in the city later succumbed to their injuries.

The Odisha Government had already ordered a high level administrative probe into the incident by the revenue divisional commissioner (central) and the Director of Medical Education and Training (DMET). The government had also sealed the dialysis ward, the medicine ICU and the emergency ward of the hospital till further orders.

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