Capital hospital turns family rendezvous for jailed chit fund accused!

Bhubaneswar: The Capital Hospital here has turned into a veritable place of rendezvous for the accused in the chit fund scam currently lodged in jail to spend time with their family members. Shockingly, all this is happening under the watchful eyes of the police.

The whole arrangement seems so well organised – like their chit fund companies before it all went up in flames – that chit fund accused are visiting the Capital hospital in groups and are spending hours with family members and each other with the help of the police and hospital officials under the pretext of ‘health check up’.

An investigation done by Odisha Television revealed that on Tuesday May 3, chit fund accused Pradip Sethi, Vineet Lalani and Manoj Das entered the Physiotherapy centre of the hospital, which soon became a venue for an undeclared meeting between the trio. Not only family members, people from outside were also seen openly meeting them. Surpirisingly, all this was happening in presence of a police escort. Even the hospital employees appeared to be more than willing to facilitate the rendezvous.

Closer investigation revealed that while Pradeep Sethi and Vineet Lalani were carrying the requisite prescription for physiotherapy treatment, accused Manoj Das was not carrying any proof of the need for such medication.

“They received the required treatment as per the prescription,” said an official of the centre. He, however, expressed ignorance about what Manoj Dash, who was without any prescription, was doing there.

“The prisoners who come here and stay indoors are accompanied by a guard. If someone has come to the hospital without any prescription, then an inquiry will be done,” said deputy superintendent of Capital Hospital Bijay Mohapatra.

Whether it’s a convict or an under-trial prisoner, there are clear guidelines laid out for their meeting with family and friends. But the fact that the family and friends of the above mentioned chit fund accused were present in the hospital virtually throughout the day, raises serious doubts as to how far the law is being followed.

“I came here to visit my husband, who is being treated here. I came here with proper orders to meet him,” said Pradeep Sethi’s wife.

“We will investigate the allegations. We will look into the procedures and if any lapses are found on the part of the escort team, action will be taken against the errant officials,” said Bhubaneswar DCP Satyabrata Bhoi.