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Elgar Parishad: Vernon Gonsalves' Counsel Alleges Medical Negligence by Jail

The 65-year-old was finally admitted to the hospital on Thursday, as he was suffering from dengue and pneumonia.

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Edited By :Tejas Harad

Activist Vernon Gonsalves, one of the accused in the Elgar Parishad case, has been suffering from dengue and was hospitalised in Mumbai on Thursday, 8 September, amid claims of medical negligence by jail authorities.

Gonsalves, 65, was put on oxygen support at the JJ Hospital in Mumbai, and is also suspected to be suffering from pneumonia, the activist's counsel Kritika Agarwal told a National Investigation Agency (NIA) court, which is hearing his bail application on medical grounds.

She also appealed to the court to allow his wife, Susan Abraham, to meet him at the hospital. Abraham was asked to bring a court order when she went to visit him earlier this week.

Hearing the case, Special judge RJ Katariya sought the response of the prosecution, but nobody was present from their side. Hence, she allowed the plea.
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'Hospitalised Only After He Couldn't Walk, Breathe Properly'

Meanwhile, advocate Larsen Furtardo filed an affidavit in the court, saying that he had taken a legal interview of a co-accused in the Elgar Parishad case, named Sagar Gorkhe, who said that Gonsalves' condition was getting visibly serious but he was only given paracetamol and antibiotics by the jail authorities.

Gorkhe also said that he and other co-accused had insisted that Gonsalves be taken to the hospital for treatment, but the authorities refused to take him until his condition deteriorated so much that he was unable to walk or breathe properly.

The advocate further claimed that on 5 September, Gonsalves appealed with folded hands to the jailer to take him to the hospital for a check-up.

Later that day, a doctor examined him, following which he was taken to the hospital in a wheelchair. However, instead of admitting him, the accused was brought back to the Taloja Jail.

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Taking cognisance of the affidavit, the judge directed the superintendent of the prison to provide proper medical aid to the 65-year-old.

Gonsalves was arrested by the Pune Police under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in connection with the Elgar Parishad case in August 2018.

(With inputs from PTI.)

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