Delhi HC asks AIIMS chief to submit report on Chidambaram’s health

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court today directed the AIIMS director to constitute a medical board today itself to give an opinion on the health of former finance minister P Chidambaram, who is suffering from Crohn’s disease.

The high court said Hyderabad-based gastroenterologist Nageshwara Redy be included in the board to give his opinion on the medical condition of Chidambaram, who is currently lodged in Tihar Jail.

Chidambaram has sought interim bail in the INX media money laundering case on medical grounds, saying his condition is deteriorating and he needs to be in a sterile environment.

Justice Suresh Kait said the board will sit today to discuss Chidambaram’s medical condition and the report be placed before the court which will hear the matter on Friday.

The 74-year-old senior Congress leader had moved the High Court on Wednesday seeking interim bail in the INX Media money-laundering case.

Chidambaram has sought interim relief for six days to enable him to consult and get examined by his doctor at the Asian Institute of Gastroenterology (AIG), Hyderabad.

He has claimed that he needs ‘urgent medical treatment for the acute and persistent abdominal pain being experienced’ by him since 5 October due to Crohn’s disease which he was diagnosed with in 2017.

Crohn’s disease is inflammation of the digestive tract leading to abdominal pain, diarrhoea and also weight loss.

According to his bail application, he was examined at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on 7 October and was prescribed an antibiotic and painkillers after which the abdominal pain subsided.
Thereafter, the problem recurred on 22 October and he was examined on 23 October at AIIMS and prescribed a new set of medicines. However, there was no relief from the pain, the application has contended.

Subsequently, he was examined again at AIIMS on 24 and 26 October and tests were conducted at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital on 28 October, it has said.

After the medical test, Chidambaram has been put on steroid treatment for next 16 weeks, the application has said and added that as his body was not responding to treatment prescribed at AIIMS he be allowed to consult his doctor at AIG.

It has also said that his medical reports were sent to his regular doctor by e-mail and after perusing the same, the doctor has said the inflammation has increased and Chidambaram needs immediate treatment in a sterile environment.

The application has further said that he has lost nearly seven kilos due to the ailment.

The plea for interim relief has been moved by Chidambaram in his application seeking regular bail in the INX Media money-laundering case in which he is presently in ED custody.

His plea for regular bail is listed for hearing on 4 November. Chidambaram, who was sent to Tihar Jail on Wednesday till 13 November by the trial court in the INX media money laundering case, was arrested by the CBI on 21 August in the INX Media corruption case.

The case was registered on 15 May, 2017, alleging irregularities in a Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to the INX Media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007 during Chidambaram’s tenure as Union Finance Minister.